Coordination of anti-trafficking action within the Government is necessary
Action against trafficking in human beings should be coordinated at the government level. The Government needs to have a permanent coordinator, and such a position should be established at the Ministry of the Interior. These are the findings of a recent report that looked into the coordination and reporting of human trafficking issues by the Government.
"This is about intersectoral cooperation which concerns a number of different actors within the central government. The need for a national anti-trafficking coordinator also derives from international obligations, such as the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings," says Minister of the Interior Kai Mykkänen.
Since 2014, the Ministry of the Interior has had a fixed-term anti-trafficking coordinator. The duties of the coordinator have included government-level coordination and contacts with other actors. The coordinator has also chaired the secretariat consisting of members from different ministries. One of the coordinator's responsibilities has been to create the framework for cooperation structures.
Coordination should be of more benefit to operative actors
People who work with anti-trafficking issues on a daily basis were interviewed for the report. Those who submitted comments and were interviewed considered it important that anti-trafficking coordination be continued and the position of the coordinator be made more permanent to enable more consistent, long-term work. In particular, they hoped that coordination would become more solution-oriented and bring greater benefits to operative actors.
Coordination should also allow decision-makers, public authorities and those engaged in various forms of practical work to discuss with each other, identify challenges, draw up policy guidelines and bring important anti-trafficking issues to political decision-makers for discussion.
The report particularly stressed that those involved in the practical work should be provided with better opportunities to be heard and to have their views taken into account. These people are often faced with challenges and problems related to human trafficking, and in future, more focus should be placed on addressing these challenges and problems. Efforts should also be made to enhance the activeness of all actors in a way that the field of anti-trafficking would not be so fragmented.
Cooperation can help victims of trafficking
Human trafficking and other related forms of exploitation are serious forms of crime worldwide, which, above all, violate our universal and fundamental human rights. It is very important that we engage in close and large-scale cooperation in order to combat human trafficking. This kind of cooperation helps us to identify challenges related to human trafficking, provide victims of trafficking with even higher-quality assistance and bring perpetrators to justice in an effective manner.
Mirkka Mykkänen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 618, [email protected]