The PAHT team have just returned from the latest event of the Parliamentarians Against Human Trafficking project, a seminar on mapping and data collection held in Vilnius, Lithuania on Friday 19 April 2013.
Held in the Lithuanian Parliament, the seminar featured parliamentarians, NGOs and law enforcement experts from across the European Union. The project was joined by for the first time by parliamentarians from the Republic of Ireland, as well as new participants from Lithuania, Belgium, Slovenia, Portugal and Belgium.
The seminar was opened by Algirdas Sysas MP, Deputy Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament, followed by interventions by Leonard Talmont MP (Chairman of the Human Rights Committee) and Baroness Butler-Sloss, Joint Chairman of the UK All Party Group on Human Trafficking.
Joana Daniel Wrabetz highlighted the importance of parliamentarians in anti trafficking work during her presentation on the Portuguese model of mapping data relating to trafficking. During her presentation, Joana noted the shift in Portugal from trafficking predominantly for sexual exploitation to trafficking for labour exploitation. She also provided a demonstration of how the system of mapping works and gave information about the new mapping project which will include inputs from Cyprus, Austria, Bulgaria and Brazil.
The next session of the seminar was a discussion on data with contributions from Gary Craig (WISE), Tim Weedon (UK Parliament) and Georgi Vanchev (ECPAT Bulgaria). Participants were urged to consider what they want data to show, to assess how accurate it is and consider where to obtain data from.
After a short lunch break, the first afternoon session, chaired by ECPAT UK CEO Bharti Patel, encouraged delegates to think about what they would like to get out of the final conference of the project, due to be held in Bucharest in early July. Finally, the last session of the day provided the opportunity to discuss returning victims to their countries of origin and the difficulties involved in doing so. Contributions featured from Liliana Oliveira (APF Norte, Portugal), Kristina Misiniene (Caritas, Lithuania) and Manca Rausl (Kljuc, Slovenia).
The project is grateful to the Lithuanian Parliament for hosting the seminar. We look forward to the final conference of the project which will be held in Bucharest in early July.