Washington Declaration - Resolution on the Need to Strengthen the Code of Conduct for OSCE Mission Members (2005)

OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Declaration, Washington 2005


1. Noting that full and true equality between men and women is a fundamental aspect of a just and democratic society as stated by the Moscow Meeting of the third conference on the Human Dimension of the CSCE 1991,

2. Noting that in this context the participating states committed themselves (40.7) “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 prohibition against such acts and other appropriate measures”,

3. Noting that prostitution is an undesirable social phenomenon and is an obstacle to the ongoing development towards equality between women and men and noting also that women in prostitution have few other options and most of them do not make a rational choice to enter prostitution,

4. Noting that international aid workers and peace keepers who exploit prostitutes in the field have been duly criticized and that exploitation of positions of unequal power undermines the credibility of humanitarian work and damages victims, their families and communities,

5. Noting that such behaviour has, in fact, resulted in an increase of the trafficking of women and children,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

6. Underlines the need to uphold the highest ethical standard of integrity, accountability and transparency in all OSCE activities;

7. Commends the Code of Conduct for OSCE mission members;

8. Welcomes a rule of zero tolerance for UN aid workers who buy sexual services;

9. Remains determined to fulfil all the human dimension commitments of the OSCE;

10. Recommends that the Code of Conduct for OSCE mission members be completed by prohibiting the purchase of sexual services. In this instance “sexual services” does not only mean “cash purchases” of sexual services from prostitutes, visits to brothels, etc. but also “private support” in the form of payment of bills, rents, school fees etc. in exchange for sexual services. Recommends also that visits to pornography establishments, strip joints or similar clubs not be permitted as this could mean lending support to crimes such as trafficking and other criminal activities;

11. Urges that all persons involved in OSCE activities follow the Code of Conduct amended as recommended above.