Stability Pact Countries Sign Anti-Trafficking Declaration|
Press Release, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/DIHR)
Palermo, Italy, December 13, 2000
An "Anti-Trafficking Declaration" was signed today by Government Ministers from the countries of the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe, recognizing the "pressing and growing importance" of the problem of trafficking in human beings in the region and launching regional action and co-operation.
"Today we have taken another significant step in the fight against trafficking in human beings in Europe," said Minister Helga Konrad, Co-ordinator of the Stability Pact's Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings. "The agreement to create national anti-trafficking co-ordinators in these countries will enable national and international resources to be targeted far more effectively in combating this highly organized and lucrative crime."
As a concrete measure to step up the fight against trafficking in human beings in South-Eastern Europe, the Ministers agreed to nominate high-level co-ordinators who will be tasked with co-ordinating national and regional activities, exchanging information at a regional level, and follow up on Ministerial decisions. The co-ordinators will prepare progress reports and suggest further action to combat trafficking. The Ministers agreed to meet regularly once every year to review the progress in the field of combating trafficking and to give political guidance.
In the Declaration, the Ministers recognized trafficking as a human rights problem and agreed to address the issue in a regional and co-operative way. They acknowledged the responsibility of the States to fight against trafficking by implementing effective programmes of prevention, victim protection, legislative reform, law enforcement training and prosecution of traffickers. The Ministers also expressed the need for enhanced awareness raising and training programmes for border officials, police, judges, prosecutors, and consular personnel.
The Declaration was signed on the margins of the UN Conference on the Signing of the International Crime Convention and its Optional Protocol on Trafficking in Human Beings by Ministers from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and representatives from Kosovo and Montenegro.
For more information please contact Ms. Helga Konrad, Co-ordinator of the Stability Pact Task Force on Trafficking in Human Being, tel.: + 43 1 531 37 ext. 380 and 410, fax: + 43 1 531 37 528, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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