The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting cooperation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation.

It was founded in 1949, has 47 Member States, 28 of which are members of the European Union. The Council of Europe's work has resulted in standards, charters and conventions to facilitate co-operation between European countries. All Council of Europe Member States have signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty designed to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

Since the late 1980s, the Council of Europe has invested considerable efforts in the fight against trafficking in human beings. These efforts culminated in the adoption, in May 2005, of the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. Ireland signed up to the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings on 13 April, 2007 and the Convention came into effect for Ireland on 1 November, 2010.

The mechanism to monitor compliance with the obligations contained in the Convention is composed of the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), a multidisciplinary panel of 15 independent experts, and the Committee of the Parties to the Convention. GRETA draws up country evaluation reports containing an analysis of the implementation of the Convention by each Party and proposals for further action. On the basis of GRETA’s reports, the political pillar of the monitoring mechanism, the Committee of the Parties, may adopt recommendations concerning the measures to be taken to implement GRETA’s conclusions.

Reports of GRETA's Irish evaluations, from 2013 and 2016, can be accessed here.