Council of Europe report says Turkey needs action plan on human trafficking

A report prepared for the Council of Europe urged Turkey to take concrete steps against human trafficking and improve the identification of victims.

Turkey, which is a main route for migrants trying to reach Europe, has implemented two national action plans on combating human trafficking, adopted in 2003 and 2009, according to the report by the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) for the Council of Europe.

But Ankara currently does not have an action plan, the report said.

"With a view to ensuring that national action to combat trafficking is comprehensive, the action plan should address all victims of trafficking, including Turkish nationals, for all forms of exploitation, prioritise the identification of victims of human trafficking amongst refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons, and strengthen action to combat trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation," the report said.

Victims face labour exploitation, sexual exploitation and exploitation of begging, according to the report.

GRETA also warned Turkey against insufficient numbers of specialised shelters for human trafficking victims. Turkish authorities should provide suitable and safe accommodation for all identified victims and facilitate their social inclusion, the experts said.

Turkey hosts large communities of Afghans, Pakistanis and Iraqis, and also others from African nations who have ended up in the country with hopes of reaching a European country. Some 286,000 irregular immigrants - those without proper documentation - landed in Turkey in 2018, according to immigration authority figures.