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Council of Europe Elects Kevin Hyland to Expert Group on Trafficking
Nov 13, 2018

ChildFund Ireland CEO Kevin Hyland to take up prestigious appointment as Ireland’s Independent representative on ‘GRETA’, the Council of Europe’s expert group on human trafficking.

The Palais de l’Europe – Council of Europe HQ, Strasbourg. Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons


Dublin, November 13th, 2018: Brian Mac Neill 

Mr Hyland, a former UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, will succeed Professor Siobhan Mullally of UCC School of Law at the end of her scheduled term and become Ireland’s new representative.

GRETA is a high level group of experts tasked with monitoring and implementing the Council of Europe’s, Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings.  The appointment of Kevin Hyland gives Ireland a formidable presence in Europe in its on-going fight against trafficking of persons, a human rights violation estimated to enslave some 40 million people globally, a quarter of them children.

Mr Hyland’s expertise in fighting modern slavery and human trafficking is evidenced by his role as specialist advisor for a number of significant international organisations, including the Santa Marta Group and the McCain Institute.  Domestically, Mr Hyland Chairs the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Project in Ireland; an all-Ireland initiative established to identify, collate, create and analyse databases relating to information on the scale and scope of human trafficking into and within the island of Ireland.

Mr Hyland was recently appointed Chair of the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) ‘Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment’, an influential platform working with business leaders to support human rights compliance, through responsible practices.

In 2015 Mr Hyland was honored with an O.B.E. in recognition of his distinguished efforts to combat human trafficking, including his time spent as a senior police officer with the London Metropolitan Police, leading its human trafficking unit.

Acknowledging Mr Hyland’s appointment, Minster for Justice Charlie Flanagan TD said;

“The election of Kevin Hyland to GRETA is a significant achievement and a tribute to his broad international expertise and experience in the area of human trafficking at national and international level. I am confident that he will make a substantial contribution to the important work of GRETA. I wish to extend my congratulations to Mr Hyland and wish him every success in this vital role.”

Speaking about the new appointment Mr Hyland said,

“I am honored to lend my knowledge and career expertise on trafficking to the Council of Europe GRETA group, and be an Independent voice representing Ireland in Europe on this important issue.  Equally, I am excited to start working with colleagues on the many challenges that lie ahead, feeling as I do a tremendous sense of urgency to combat this insidious and pernicious human rights violation, one that blights the lives of the most vulnerable in our society, particularly children.”

“The multi-jurisdictional character of human trafficking creates unique challenges that are best served by close international cooperation and the sharing of best practice.  The COE Convention provides a platform that can help member states like Ireland lead the way on this issue.  I look forward to engaging with colleagues in GRETA, as Ireland’s representative, to support this vitally important work.” 

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