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Stepping up the fight against human trafficking through cooperation between authorities and organisations

Ministry of the Interior
5.11.2020 15.58 | Published in English on 6.11.2020 at 15.44
Press release 137/2020

Efforts to combat human trafficking will be reinforced by closer cooperation between authorities, organisations and municipalities. A team investigating human trafficking offences will be established at the Helsinki Police Department, and an action plan to be completed at the beginning of next year will coordinate anti-trafficking work more extensively. Today, different parties took part in a round table discussion hosted by Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo.

“Trafficking in human beings is a very complex human rights violation, and we are now investing a great deal in the investigation of these crimes. That is why we need both authorities and organisations to work together to detect human trafficking, improve the position of victims and investigate the crimes that have taken place. I am very proud that we are able to tackle this important issue in a multidisciplinary way. This is not just a cooperation network, but teams consisting of experts from many different sectors and working together on a daily basis,” says Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo.

A new team for the police to investigate human trafficking offences

A team focusing on the detection and investigation of human trafficking offences will be established at the Helsinki Police Department. The team will work closely with the National Bureau of Investigation, the national network of experts on combating trafficking in human beings and other authorities and cooperation bodies.  

“The national investigation team will acquire information, detect and investigate crimes at national level, support other units, and combat cross-border crime together with the National Bureau of Investigation. The police will also have two designated human trafficking investigators in each police department. I am very pleased that next year 20 person-years can be allocated to the work against trafficking in human beings. The national team will also help the investigators working in the regions, and no investigator will be left alone to deal with this issue,” says National Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen.

An action plan will coordinate anti-trafficking work

In accordance with a decision of the Government, a cross-sectoral action plan against trafficking in human beings is currently being prepared. It will aim to promote the identification and detection of human trafficking, enforce criminal liability more effectively, improve the position of human trafficking victims, and prevent and reduce human trafficking. The action plan is being prepared by a working group appointed by the Ministry of Justice and it is expected to be completed at the beginning of 2021.

The action plan will introduce a wide range of development measures related, for example, to the development of practices, guidelines and cooperation of the authorities, improvement of information exchange, increased training, preparation of training and teaching materials, and support for cooperation between authorities and organisations. Among the priorities of the action plan are the mainstreaming of the work against trafficking in human beings and strengthening of coordination. The action plan will aim to commit different parties to cooperation and increase their cooperation.

Inquiries:

Kimmo Halme, Chief Superintendent, tel. +358 295 488 361
Sameli Sivonen, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 50 406 68 55 (requests for interviews with Minister Ohisalo)