News/OSCE: TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE OSCE

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Subject: News/OSCE: TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE OSCE
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Wed Nov 03 1999 - 09:55:38 EST


I have the complete copy of this document. If you would like me to forward it to you, please contact me directly at <morhant@igc.org>

Thank you,

Melanie

TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS:
IMPLICATIONS FOR THE OSCE

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION

TRAFFICKING IN THE OSCE REGION

Defining the Problem
Trafficking in women and girls for the sex industry
Patterns and practices
General trends
Emerging areas
Other forms of trafficking in the OSCE region

IMPLICATIONS FOR THE OSCE

Human Dimension
Economic Dimension
Security Dimension

OSCE COMMITMENTS AND INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

Moscow Document
Other international standards

STATUS OF IMPLEMENTATION (General Observations)

Destination countries
Origin countries
Transit countries

INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS TO COMBAT TRAFFICKING

Current initiatives by the OSCE/ ODIHR
Other International organizations and institutions
Non-governmental organizations

THE ROLE OF THE OSCE AND PRELIMINARY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION

THE ROLE OF THE PARTICIPATING STATES AND PRELIMINARY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION

 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide into conditions amounting to slavery. Among these, many thousands are young women and girls lured, abducted, or sold into forced prostitution and other forms of sexual servitude. In 1997, an estimated 175,000 women and girls were trafficked from OSCE countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States, primarily to other OSCE countries. In addition, OSCE countries in Western Europe and North America continue to be major trafficking destinations for trafficked people from developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

In the OSCE region, trafficking is most often discussed in terms of žtrafficking in women,Ó žtrafficking in women and children,Ó or žtrafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation.Ó While trafficking indisputably has a disproportionate impact on women and girls and frequently entails trafficking for commercial sex purposes, trafficking is a much wider phenomenon, both globally and within the OSCE region. In the OSCE region, the trade in people includes, for example, trafficking in migrants for sweatshop, domestic, or agricultural labour, forced or fictitious žmail-orderÓ marriages, as well as buying and selling young women for brothels and strip clubs.

Despite divergent definitions, there is growing agreement that the problem of žtrafficking in human beingsÓ involves movement of people for the purpose of placing them in forced labour or other forms of involuntary servitude. Thus, for purposes of this background paper, žtrafficking in human beingsÓ is defined to include trafficking for sexual as well as non-sexual purposes, and all actions along the trafficking chain, from the initial recruitment (or abduction) of the trafficked person to the end purpose or result ------Ů the exploitation of the victimŪs person or labour.

Trafficking in human beings, particularly of women and children, has been loudly denounced by the international community as an egregious and profound human rights abuse, a form of žmodern-day slavery,Ó and a particular form of violence against women. Despite increased attention on the political level, however, few States have taken adequate measures to protect individuals from such practices, to prosecute traffickers, or to provide effective remedies for victims. Current legal frameworks, policies and strategies have proven inadequate to deal effectively with this complex transnational problem, and co-ordination, at both the national and international level, has been the exception rather than the rule.

By all accounts, trafficking is a complicated and multi-faceted problem that requires a co-ordinated, inter-disciplinary, and international response. It has roots in socio-economic and gender inequalities; it involves migration and law enforcement problems; it is increasingly perpetuated by organized criminal groups; it raises numerous human rights and gender issues; and has broad implications for stability, democratisation and rule of law. At the 1998 Human Dimension Implementation Review Meeting and the Side Meeting on Gender Issues, both State delegations and non-governmental organizations identified trafficking as a key women's human rights issue requiring intensified action by the OSCE and the participating States.

This background paper is intended as a first step in addressing the issue of trafficking within the OSCE framework. To this end, the report provides a working definition of trafficking in human beings, a general overview of the problem, a summary of the relevant OSCE commitments and international standards relating to trafficking, and a discussion of the status of implementation of anti-trafficking measures in the OSCE region. The report summarizes current international efforts to combat trafficking and considers, on a preliminary basis, areas in which the OSCE may be uniquely well-placed to address aspects of the trafficking problem, without duplicating the work of others. Among other things, the report recommends that the OSCE integrate anti-trafficking measures into existing human rights, civil society, and institution-building activities, provide training to OSCE field mission members, and undertake a leading role in combating trafficking in South Eastern Europe as part of the OSCE mandate under the St
ability Pact.

Finally, since primary responsibility for combating trafficking rests with the participating States, the report indicates a number of areas where the participating States could take concrete actions on a national and international level to prevent and suppress trafficking, and to protect the human rights of trafficked persons.
 

Melanie Orhant

morhant@igc.org
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sweatshop labor, domestic service and some coercive mail
order bride arrangements.
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