Last week ended CEPOL course 9/2013 "THB - Prevention mechanisms with specific focus on reduction of demand", hosted by the Swedish National Police Academy.
During three substantial days, 27 participants from 20 of the CEPOL member countries gathered at the Police Academy to discuss prevention methods against trafficking of human beings. In addition to share experience and networking among CEPOL members, the course overall aim was to increase knowledge of available tools and methods to prevent human trafficking and reduce demand. Human trafficking for sexual purposes isn´t the only type – there are also other situations where people are exploited, for example: petty theft, berry picking, begging or forced labor.
Andrea Hostynkova from Europol started providing with information about international cooperation, emerging trends and future predictions of trafficking to give participants an overview of the extent of the phenomenon. Kajsa Wahlberg, the National Police Agency National Rapporteur on trafficking issues, presented the Swedish approach: the Swedish sex-purchase law, and explained what the law means in practice.
Representatives from supporting countries Belgium, Italy and Poland presented examples from each country, followed by a panel discussion on best practices or problems/obstacles. Participants were also given considerable time discussing national tools or methods, what works and what needs to be developed.
Police Academy course manager Heelena Nilsson stated the satisfaction of participants at the end of the course: “commitment has been great and there have been lots of fruitful discussions. We came to the conclusion that the police in different countries can and should do more on preventive measures. There is also a need for action by the EU and more efforts, particularly in the countries of origin in order to succeed in reducing human trafficking”.