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Eurojust Press Invitation – Strategic Meeting in Slovenia

The Hague, 15 May 2008
With the support of the Slovenian Presidency of the European Union, Eurojust is organising a Strategic Meeting on Trafficking in Human Beings and Witness Protection. The strategic meeting will be held on 19 and 20 May 2008 in Portorož (Slovenia) at the Grand Hotel Bernardin, Obala 2, 6320 Portorož.

As highlighted in the Draft Council Conclusions setting the European Union priorities for the fight against organised crime based on the OCTA Report 2007, smuggling and Trafficking in Human Beings linked to illegal immigration should be considered as one of the main priorities to be reflected on and tackled.

This strategic meeting will be devoted to the study of the general criminal phenomena of Trafficking in Human Beings as well as the special mechanisms, measures, standards and good practices that have been or should be established and implemented in order to protect victims during investigations and prosecutions against those involved in trafficking activities.

Special rights and status, which should be accorded to trafficking victims, must be preserved in order to allow them to provide their essential testimony as witnesses with a higher level of protection.

Practical presentations by experts in this field will be combined with in-depth discussions within workshops dedicated to the “Legal and practical difficulties in the fight against Trafficking in Human Beings” and the “Mechanisms and measures to protect victims of trafficking when they act as witnesses”.

The press is invited and welcome on 19 May at 09:00 for the Opening Session and welcoming speeches by Dr Lovro Sturm, Minister of Justice of Slovenia, Ms Barbara Brezigar, Prosecutor General of Slovenia, Mr José Luís Lopes da Mota, President of the College of Eurojust and National Member for Portugal, and Mr Ivan Bizjak, EU Director General for Justice and Home Affairs. This opening session will be followed by a press conference at 09:30 by the speakers from the opening session, accompanied by Ms Malči Grabrijelčič, Chair of the External Relations Team and National Member for Slovenia, and Ms Katerina Loizou, Chair of the Trafficking and Related Crimes Team and National Member for Cyprus.

On 20 May at 13:00, the press is invited and welcome to a lunch meeting with the keynote speakers at the end of the strategic meeting.