European & International News

OSCE likens trafficking to slave trade on a massive scale

[Brussels, 13 December 2010] The Organisation for Security & Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) last week released the annual report of its Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings entitled ’Combating Trafficking as Modern-Day Slavery: A Matter of Rights, Freedom and Security’. According to the UN, trafficking is a heavily gendered phenomenon, with 79% of victims trafficked for sexual exploitation and 80% of these being women and girls. The EWL is calling for recognition of this gendered dimension of trafficking and action on demand for prostitution as a key preventive measure.

OSCE Statement, Vienna, 9 December 2010

The OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, called on countries to change their perception considering human trafficking as a marginal phenomenon and instead encouraged them to recognize it as a massive-scale modern-day slavery in a speech today to the OSCE Permanent Council.

"Trafficking in human beings must be seen at the same time as a human rights violation and a transnational threat to security as it is mostly a business of organized crime which fuels corruption and money laundering, and therefore hampers economic and democratic development," said Giammarinaro in a speech to present her first Annual Report to the OSCE Permanent Council.

The report, Combating Trafficking as Modern-Day Slavery: A Matter of Rights, Freedoms and Security, illustrates the current reality of human trafficking and its multiple forms. It also describes progress, policies and actions of the OSCE in 2010, and recommends a strategic approach for future work.

The ever-evolving modus operandi of traffickers poses a real challenge for law enforcement, prosecutors and judges, in both cultural and legal terms, Giammarinaro said. She outlined that while physical violence continues to be regularly used against some groups of trafficked persons, more subtle methods of coercion and abuse of a position of vulnerability have appeared.

Trafficking in human beings is a violation of human dignity, and therefore a human rights-centred approach is needed in all anti-trafficking action across the three dimensions of security, she said.
"We should do a better job of helping trafficked persons to take their life in their hands, and have access to justice and remedies including compensation and labour law remedies," she added, calling on participating States to identify and assist trafficked persons on a much larger scale.

Direct Link to Full 68-Page OSCE 2010 Report on Human Trafficking:

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