OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, 1999 St.Petersburg Declaration - Resolution on Trafficking of Women and Children (1999)





1. We, Parliamentarians of the OSCE participating States, have met in St. Petersburg on 6-10 July as the Parliamentary OSCE Institution to assess developments relating to security and co-operation in Europe and to offer our views to OSCE Ministers.

2. We wish all success to the next OSCE Summit to be held in Istanbul in November 1999, and bring to its attention the following declarations and recommendations.





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 rights;

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 victims;

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 problem.