Re: Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE)

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Subject: Re: Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE)
From: Melanie Orhant (
Date: Tue Jul 27 1999 - 11:04:01 EDT

Dear list members,

I just want to clarify that the first part of the enclosed email was
commentary from one of the list facilitators (myself), not from Maureen.
To avoid any confusion, all future editorial comments will be placed in
seperate emails. I hope that this did not cause to much confusion.


Melanie Orhant

>Note from Melanie:
>Rep. Smith is the proponent of the 'sex trafficking' bill, which is much
>more limited in scope than Sen. Wellstones Bill. Rep. Smith's bill only
>covers cases of trafficking for forced prostituion and does not protect all
>of the thousands, upon thousands of people (men, women and children) who
>are trafficked into the US for forced labor, debt bondage and peonage in
>other industries, such as sweatshops, domestic servitude, cohersive manual
>labor, to mention just a few.
>On July 6-10, 1999, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
>Europe's (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly met in St. Petersburg, Russia. At
>this annual session of the Parliamentary Assembly, Rep. Christopher H. Smith
>(R-NJ) introduced a resolution on trafficking. The resolution was adopted
>on July 10 by the Parliamentary Assembly without objection.
>By way of background, the Parliamentary Assembly was created in the early
>1990s to encourage greater parliamentary involvement in the OSCE.
>Parliaments of all OSCE States are represented in the Assembly, which is now
>composed of 317 Parliamentarians representing 54 countries-these include all
>European countries, the newly independent states, Canada and the United
>States. The main activity of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is the Annual
>Session at which legislators discuss and debate human rights, military
>security, economic and environmental concerns. The Parliamentary Session
>votes on the adoption of a Final Declaration, which includes specific
>resolutions and recommendations. The resolutions are adopted by majority
>vote rather than by the traditional OSCE consensus rule of unanimous
>agreement. The resolutions adopted by the Parliamentary Session are not
>binding on the OSCE or on participating States but serve as an indication of
>issues important to parliamentarians.
>The text of the adopted resolution is as follows:
>The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly,
>1. Condemning the fact that millions of persons every year, of whom the
>overwhelming majority are
>women or children, are trafficked into the international sex trade, in gross
>violation of their fundamental human rights;
>2. Underlining that trafficking of persons in all its forms is an evil that
>calls for concerted and vigorous action by countries of origin, transit and
>destination, and by international organizations;
>3. Noting that international trafficking in persons is not limited to sexual
>trafficking but also involves
>forced labour and other violations of internationally recognised human
>4. Concerned that sexual trafficking is a particularly brutal form of the
>international traffic in persons
>which includes all the elements of the crime of rape because it results in
>the involuntary participation of another person in sex acts by means of
>fraud, force, or coercion;
>5. Aware that trafficking in women and children in the OSCE region and
>beyond is inherently related to the global phenomenon of organised crime
>relating to slavery, forced labour and forced prostitution;
>6. Recalling the commitments of OSCE participating States, as set out in the
>1991 Moscow Document, to "seek to eliminate all forms of violence against
>women, and all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of
>women including by ensuring adequate legal prohibitions against such acts
>and other appropriate measures";
>7. Recalling that international law recognises the right to be free from
>slavery and involuntary servitude, arbitrary detention, degrading or inhuman
>treatment, and arbitrary interference with privacy or the family, as well as
>the right to protection by law against these abuses;
>8. Concerned that existing legislation and law enforcement in some OSCE
>participating States are
>inadequate to deter trafficking and to bring traffickers to justice and that
>enforcement against international sexual traffickers is also hindered by
>official indifference, corruption, and in some instances active official
>participation in trafficking;
>9. Urgently appeals to the Governments of OSCE participating States to adopt
>or strengthen existing
>legislation and enforcement mechanisms to punish trafficking perpetrators,
>particularly those who use force or fraud to traffic women or children into
>the international sex trade, while protecting the rights of the trafficking
>10. Urges the Governments of OSCE participating States to develop nationally
>and internationally
>co-ordinated law enforcement strategies to combat internationally organised
>crime, and particularly the role of organised crime in trafficking of women
>and children;
>11. Recommends that countries of origin, transit and destination of
>trafficking victims conduct information campaigns to raise public awareness
>and understanding of this problem;
>12. Suggests that the ODIHR convene a meeting of expert advisors and
>relevant officials from OSCE
>participating States to develop a co-ordinated strategy for combating this
>Maureen T. Walsh
>Commission on Security and
> Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission)
>234 Ford House Office Building
>Washington, DC 20515
>(202) 225-1901 tel
>(202) 226-4199 fax

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