Publication date 08.03.2017

Deputy Minister Jakub Skiba: Trafficking in human beings is a despicable crime

The representatives of interior ministries of Poland, the United Kingdom and Lithuania discussed the rules of trilateral cooperation aimed at combating trafficking in human beings. The Regional Modern Slavery Conference began on Wednesday at the British Embassy in Warsaw, with Poland being represented by Jakub Skiba, Deputy Minister of the Interior and Administration.

The representatives of interior ministries of Poland, the United Kingdom and Lithuania discussed the rules of trilateral cooperation aimed at combating trafficking in human beings. The Regional Modern Slavery Conference began on Wednesday at the British Embassy in Warsaw, with Poland being represented by Jakub Skiba, Deputy Minister of the Interior and Administration.

Jakub Skiba emphasized that only the involvement of many countries would enable more efficient fight against trafficking in human beings and that the conference was only a starting point for better cooperation in this regard. “Trafficking in human beings undermines human dignity, but also public security of the state and its citizens. Criminals exploit the vulnerable groups to collect proceeds from their illegal activities. They make a business on a large scale from this despicable crime,” said the Minister. “Our country has a special position in this regard, since our citizens fall victim to modern slavery and at the same time our country is a destination and a transit country for trafficking in human beings,” he added.

The participants of the conference agreed that trafficking in human beings should be prevented at its source, and also in places where it is widespread. Instead of prosecuting criminals in individual countries, a general systemic approach must be applied which will offer an international solution to the problem.

Deputy Minister Jakub Skiba reminded that victims of trafficking in human beings required specialist assistance and that every country should have in place the systems for prosecuting perpetrators and assisting the victims of those crimes. “Trafficking in human beings is a very complex phenomenon. It cannot be analysed in only one dimension. Examples of modern slavery include forced labour and forced services, sexual crimes, begging, extortion of social benefits,” said Deputy Minister of the Interior and Administration. “Poles fall victim to trafficking in human beings, among others, in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Moreover, Poles are at the fifth place in terms of nationalities of the victims of this crime,” stated the Secretary of State at the Ministry of the Interior and Administration.

Apart from Deputy Minister Jakub Skiba, other participants of the conference included Sarah Newton, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism and Deputy Interior Minister of Lithuania Česlovas Mulma. The meeting was hosted by Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Jonathan Knott.

Before the official part of the conference, Deputy Minister Jakub Skiba held a meeting at the Ministry of the Interior and Administration with the representatives of the British and the Lithuanian delegations with whom he discussed details of international cooperation. The talks were attended, apart from the ministers from Lithuania and the United Kingdom, by Chief Superintendent Andrzej Szymczyk, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Police, Šarūnas Adomavičius, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Lithuania to the Republic of Poland, as well as specialists from the three countries dealing with security and trafficking in human beings.

As part of trilateral cooperation, workshops for representatives of Polish, British and Lithuanian law enforcement authorities, interior ministries and non-governmental organisations will be held on Thursday, 9 March, at the Police Training Centre in Legionowo. The workshops will also be attended by observers from Ukraine and Belarus. The aim of the workshops is to improve communication between law enforcement authorities, institutions providing support to victims of trafficking in human beings and administration officials responsible for preparing national programmes for combating trafficking in human beings. The workshops will also provide an opportunity to improve international cooperation in prosecution of such crimes. 

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