Berlin Declaration - Resolution on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, especially Women and Children (2002)

OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Declaration, Berlin 2002



1. Aware of the urgent need for OSCE Member States to undertake measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, and to end violence against women as well as sexual exploitation and all forms of trafficking in human beings and to promote the adoption of strengthening of legislation to hold accountable persons responsible for these acts and the protection of victims,

2. Alarmed that human trafficking has become the fastest growing facet of organised crime,

3. Deploring that trafficking in human beings, especially women and children, continues to expand throughout the OSCE region notwithstanding national, regional and international efforts to combat the phenomenon,

4. Noting that the problem of trafficking in human beings is multidimensional in nature – affecting the security, economic and human dimensions of the Helsinki process – and is of relevance throughout the OSCE region,

5. Underlining that trafficking in human beings is a law-enforcement issue and a human rights concern but is first and foremost a violation of human rights,

6. Reminding that parliamentarians in several international organizations like the Inter--Parliamentary Union, the Council of Europe, the Nordic Council and the OSCE, have condemned trafficking as a violation of human rights,

7. Recalling that the 1991 Moscow Document, the 1999 Charter for European Security, the OSCE Ministerial Council Decision of November 2000 and the OSCE Ministerial Council Decision of December 2001 commit OSCE participating States to seek to end all forms of trafficking in human beings including through appropriate legislation and other measures,

8. Aware that the root causes of human trafficking, such as poverty, unemployment, inequality, patriarchal structures, discrimination, racism, violence and the demand for cheap labour and commercial sexual services have to be addressed,

9. Underlining that combating human trafficking concerns society in its entirety and not just the individuals involved,

10. Alarmed by the existence and prevalence of sex tourism aimed, in particular, at the sexual exploitation of children,

11. Requiring that countries of destination for persons trafficked into sexual exploitation acknowledge their incontestable responsibility to address the demand for commercial sexual services,

12. Deeply disturbed that nationals of OSCE participating States have been implicated in the trafficking of women and girls, and in soliciting the sexual services of trafficked persons, in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo while serving as part of the international presence in those areas,

13. Aware of the need of a legal framework, improved implementation of legislation, enhanced and improved international cooperation and coordination, and well trained professionals in the field,

14. Regarding the SECI Regional Center for Combating Transborder Crime and the Trafficking in Persons Task Forces established under the Southeastern European Cooperative Initiative’s (SECI) auspices as a useful model for cross-border cooperation in law enforcement against trafficking in persons,

15. Emphasizing the need to develop victim assistance and protection mechanisms both in countries of origin and of destination. Government authorities should consider granting of temporary and/or permanent residence permits to victims of trafficking,

16. Welcoming the commitment expressed by OSCE participating States at the Conference on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, held in Berlin in October 2001, to enhance their efforts to combat human trafficking,

17. Commending the ODIHR Anti-Trafficking Project Fund as a new mechanism to support and fund anti-trafficking initiatives in the field,

18. Commending the global television campaign launched by the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) to increase education and awareness about trafficking,

19. Welcomes the proposal of the incoming OSCE Chair-in-Office to address the economic impact of trafficking in human beings, small arms, and illegal drugs at the OSCE Economic Forum in 2003,

20. Calls on OSCE participating States to ratify relevant international documents including the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children,

21. Requests that OSCE participating States take unequivocal responsibility for the problem of human trafficking and take appropriate counter-measures including adoption and implementation of appropriate legislation guaranteeing effective criminal prosecution,

22. Calls on OSCE participating States to ensure that their laws contain the requisite jurisdiction to prosecute acts of trafficking in human beings when those acts are committed abroad by their nationals,

23. Calls on OSCE participating States to ensure that their laws contain the requisite jurisdiction to prosecute their nationals who travel abroad for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with children,

24. Demands that account has to be taken of the special situation of trafficked children and their specific rights and needs,

25. Urges OSCE participating States and the EU to help ensure that funding is available on a regular basis for priority anti-trafficking initiatives carried out by the ODIHR and OSCE field operations,

26. Urges the OSCE, working with the international community and regional initiatives such as SECI and the Stability Pact, to prioritize the problems of organized crime, corruption and trafficking in human beings, narcotics and arms that plague countries in Southeast Europe, and as a matter of urgency to increase coordination amongst themselves in order to more effectively fight these destabilizing realities,

27. Encourages the OSCE participating States in Southeastern Europe to utilize fully the capability of the SECI Regional Center for Combating Transborder Crime in Bucharest, Romania, including by appointing without undue delay liaison officers from their police and customs services to serve at the SECI Center;