The monitoring mechanism of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CoE Convention) consists of an independent group of experts (GRETA) and a Committee of Parties. GRETA, which began work in 2009, develops questionnaires for States Parties, reviews their replies and conducts study visits. It then produces a report that is used by the Committee of Parties to make recommendations. This article analyses GRETA’s work until November 2011 by assessing the available materials including the questionnaire, the three published replies of States Parties to the questionnaire and the five published final reports on the parties. The objective of the article is to examine the capacity of this process to contribute to enhancing the accountability of States Parties, and to consider whether the application of a human rights-based approach by the parties can, in fact, be effectively monitored. The article also considers the role of civil society in the monitoring process and the ways in which this could be enhanced.
Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings; implementation of human rights obligations; monitoring of human rights