COE Commissioner: Key Aspect Missing in Human Trafficking Law
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg
( Photo: COVI/Scanpix )
Estonian draft legislation on human trafficking does not take into account the vulnerability of victims, which is a key element in tackling the problem, Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, has said.
Experience has shown that the vast majority of, for instance, female victims never honestly reveal the details of their situations due to fear for their security, he said.
The legislation, which aims to bring Estonian anti-trafficking laws in line with those of the European Union and US, passed its first reading in Parliament in January. Minister of Justice Kristen Michal said at the time that the draft law better protects victims and also clarifies their rights.
Hammarberg said that Estonia should ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, which stipulates that all trade in humans is a crime whether the victims are forced into it or participate voluntarily, Eesti Päevaleht reported.