Trafficking in human beings
Annual progress report 2004
In connection with the ten-year anniversary of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, a meeting of Prime Ministers was held in Kirkenes, Norway, on 11 January 2003. In the declaration published after the meeting, the Prime Ministers committed themselves to a joint effort to stop trafficking in human beings in the region: “We will make a concerted effort to stop trafficking in human beings in the Barents Region.” In order to follow up on that commitment, a Task Force was formed with participants from Finland, Norway, Russian Federation, and Sweden. The objectives of the mandate for the Task Force is: To identify and implement measures required to fulfil the goal “to make concerted effort to stop trafficking in human beings in the Barents Region”, as directed by the Prime Ministers in the Declaration adopted at the ten-year anniversary meeting in Kirkenes on 11 January 2003.
The first meeting of the Task Force was held in Stockholm on 9-10 September 2003 with representatives from the ministerial level in Finland, Norway, Russian Federation and Sweden. The purpose of the first meeting was to discuss and shape the Task Force’s efforts in the region in light of the Prime Ministers’ agreement and the mandate given to the Task Force. One of the main issues was to discuss the future role of the Task Force. It was agreed that a situation report should be prepared used as the basis for an Action Plan with guidelines for continued efforts. It was also decided that Sweden should hold the chair one more year.
A second meeting was planned in Tromsø, Norway 25 –26 November 2003. This meeting was postponed and instead the second meeting was held in Tromsø 3 – 4 February 2004. Participants from Finland, Norway, Russian Federation and Sweden discussed the Situation Reports from the four countries. A draft of an Action Plan was decided.
Annual Progress report
A meeting in the Task Force was planned in Kirkenes in May 2004 in connection with a seminar in May 2004. Unfortunately, this meeting and seminar was postponed.
A meeting in the Task Force was held in Vantaa, Finland, 24 – 25 January 2005 with participants from Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. The main issue discussed at the meeting was an Action Plan but also the cooperation and coordination with the Baltic Sea Task Force on Organised Crime/Operational Committee (OPC). An Action Plan was adopted, including:
- Each country shall establish contact-points at both central and regional level
- The law enforcement agencies shall exchange relevant operational information
- The participating countries shall exchange annual reports concerning the situation of trafficking in the region
- Each state shall establish contact with their national part of the Baltic Sea Task Force on Organised Crime/OPC and the chair of the BEAC Task Force shall establish a contact with the secretariat of the Baltic Sea Task Force
- All activities of the BEAC Task Force shall be coordinated with the Baltic Sea Task Force to avoid duplication of efforts and to promote joint operations
- BEAC Task Force shall arrange a seminar for representatives of law enforcement agencies in the region. Preliminary in Murmansk, Russia, April 2005