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PROTECTION The government increased protection efforts. The government provided both direct care and funding for third-party care through an asylum reception center that coordinated the national victim assistance system.
Police were required to refer potential victims to the national assistance system immediately upon identification, where they were eligible for emergency assistance.
GRETA’s most recent report, however, recommended further specialization among law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges to increase the government’s capacity to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses.RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FINLAND Vigorously investigate and prosecute sex and labor trafficking cases using the trafficking statute and impose sufficiently stringent sentences on convicted traffickers; develop and implement a national referral mechanism and train officials in its use to identify potential sex and labor trafficking victims proactively, especially children, and refer them to services to which they are legally entitled; offer all victims appropriate housing and specialized care and consistently notify them of available resources; increase the number of prosecutors, judges, and police that specialize in trafficking cases and consider creating specialized law enforcement units; train investigators, police, immigration officials, prosecutors, labor inspectors, and judges on applying the trafficking law and respecting victims’ rights; institute a formal witness protection program to encourage greater victim participation in the criminal justice process; increase efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor; and expand worker protection laws to include seasonal workers on commission.PROSECUTION The government increased law enforcement efforts.The national victim assistance system admitted 130 potential trafficking victims in 2016 (86 women and 44 men, of whom 21 were children); most were exploited prior to their arrival in Finland, many as migrants seeking asylum. The assistance system admitted 52 victims in 2015 (of whom none were children).Some admitted to the assistance system were victims of forced marriage or organ trafficking, crimes that fall outside the U. Authorities used a series of written guidelines to assist in victim identification and referral to care and to ensure protection of victims’ rights.