Austria 'must help child victims of trafficking'
The Council of Europe has urged Austria to step up the fight against child trafficking. A report issued on Monday said that Austria had made progress in the fight against human trafficking but that more needed to be done to protect children.
Ahead of the EU Anti-Trafficking Day on October 18th, the report also said Austria must work to make sure that victims of human trafficking are not prosecuted if they have been forced to break the law by their traffickers.
The report referred to cases where victims had been jailed, despite evidence that they had been pressured into breaking the law.
The report from GRETA (Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings) noted that Austria had set up support structures for the rising numbers of male victims of trafficking, including a counselling centre for migrant workers with no identity papers.
Improvements have also been made to laws which mean human traffickers' assets can be seized and frozen and used to compensate their victims.
GRETA urged Austria to set up funds to train experts to work with child victims, as well as provide suitable accommodation, access to legal assistance and psychological help.