[Stop-traffic] Press Release/Europe: SEE Anti-Trafficking Ministerial Declaration

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] Press Release/Europe: SEE Anti-Trafficking Ministerial Declaration
From: Gabriele Reiter (Gabriele.Reiter@odihr.osce.waw.pl)
Date: Mon Nov 20 2000 - 14:31:02 EST


Press Release

Stability Pact Countries sign "South Eastern European Anti-
Trafficking Ministerial Declaration"

Palermo, 13 December 2000 ¯ An “Anti-Trafficking Declaration” was
signed today by Government Ministers from the countries of the
Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, recognising 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 recognised 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.


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