Edinburgh Declaration - Resolution on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (2004)

OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Declaration, Edinburgh 2004

RESOLUTION ON COMBATING TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS

1. Reiterating its view, as expressed in previous resolutions of the Assembly, that trafficking in human beings threatens the security of the OSCE region, undermines the rule of law, promotes corruption and also violates human rights and human dignity,

2. Underscoring the importance of a comprehensive approach to trafficking in human beings, comprising the prevention of trafficking, the protection of victims and witnesses and the prosecution of criminals,

3. Recognizing that combating trafficking in human beings must be fought in countries of origin, countries of transit and countries of destination,

4. Being aware that trafficking in human beings is a transnational criminal activity that needs a transnational response from governments,

5. Emphasizing the responsibility of the participating States to fulfil their commitments to combat trafficking in human beings, in particular those contained in the Moscow document of 1991, Charter of European Security of 1999, as well as in the OSCE Ministerial Council decisions of 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003,

6. Taking in to account that traffickers modify their modus operandi as governments start to enforce anti-trafficking legislation, so as to escape prosecution,

7. Welcoming the convening of the Conference on Trafficking in Human Beings at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s fall meeting in Rhodes, Greece,

8. Welcoming also the fact that the conference will be held in conjunction with a Parliamentary Forum on the Mediterranean, since citizens of the OSCE Participating States are trafficked to and/or through the territories of some Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

9. Calls on the OSCE participating States to implement the OSCE Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, to support the work of the Anti-Trafficking Mechanism created by the 2003 Maastricht Ministerial Council Decision No.2 and to continue supporting the work of ODIHR and all other relevant OSCE Institutions and Bodies;

10. Urges all participating States to sign and ratify the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, which supplements the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime;

11. Calls upon all participating States to sign and ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Child, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and also the International Labour Organizations Convention 182, calling for immediate action to ban the worst forms of child labour, including child prostitution and child pornography;

12. Insists that all participating States ensure that their national legislative and other measures provide adequate measures to combat trafficking in human beings, and that trafficking in human beings is criminalized as a serious crime and also that a framework for victim protection is provided;

13. Appeals to participating States, especially countries of origin of victims of trafficking, to take measures in countering factors which contribute to an individual’s vulnerability, especially discrimination based on sex, race or ethnicity, physical or sexual abuse, exploitation or institutionalisation of children, and lack of equal access to economic opportunities, and also to increase the level of school attendance, in particular amongst girls and minority groups, and to enhance job opportunities for women;

14. Appeals to participating States, especially countries of destination of victims of trafficking, to work out a multi-agency programme of monitoring, administrative controls and intelligence gathering on the labour market, especially the sex industry, to reduce “the invisibility of exploitation”, and also to take measures to address the demand for activities of persons trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labour;

15. Calls upon the participating States to ensure that victims of trafficking and witnesses are not subject to criminal prosecution solely as a direct result of having been trafficked;

16. Urges participating States to consider the provision of temporary or permanent residence permits to victims of trafficking in human beings and witnesses, taking into account such factors as potential danger to victims’ and witnesses’ safety;

17. Urges also the participating States to ensure that victims of trafficking and witnesses are effectively protected through the establishment of National Referral Mechanisms, shelter, provision of documents, social assistance, legal advice and assistance in voluntary repatriation, rehabilitation and social reintegration;

18. Insists that participating States take into account the special needs of children and address their best interest concerning care, appropriate housing, education and possible repatriation, to ensure the child’s safety, protection, rehabilitation and reintegration in all circumstances;

19. Encourages participating States to create special anti-trafficking units, to develop community-policing programmes and to enhance co-operation between law enforcement authorities and elements of civil society;

20. Urges participating States to step up their co-operation in combating trafficking in human beings through co-ordination on inquiries, exchange of experts and information on methods used by criminal groups;

21. Encourages participating States to provide training for border officials, law enforcement authorities, judges, prosecutors, immigration and other relevant authorities in all aspects of trafficking in human beings, especially in human rights and child- and gender-sensitive issues;

22. Appeals to the participating States to undertake, in co-operation with relevant NGO’s and other elements of civil society, information campaigns to generate public awareness about trafficking in human beings;

23. Requests that the participating States acknowledge and undertake measures to address the role of military service members, and civilians accompanying the military in a deployment, in contributing to the demand for trafficking in human beings;

24. Requests also that participating States examine the sufficiency of their national laws and regulations, particularly military codes and domestic laws with extraterritorial applications, to ensure that a legal basis exists to enforce anti-trafficking laws and policies with respect to a State’s citizens when serving on a peacekeeping or military deployment abroad;

25. Urges the OSCE Sofia Ministerial Council to adopt a Decision regarding the responsibilities of participating States to address the role of military service members, and civilians accompanying the military, in the trafficking in human beings, including the adoption and implementation of appropriate policies, codes of conduct, training and accountability mechanisms;

26. Calls upon the OSCE Sofia Ministerial Council to give particular attention to the problems of trafficking in human beings in uncontrolled, occupied territories, ensuring constant international control and monitoring under the auspices of the corresponding OSCE institutions by sending special missions to the conflict zone along the line of contact for observation and study of the situation on the ground, in order to gather the requisite information on problems of trafficking in human beings;

27. Recommends that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s fall meeting in Rhodes initiates a discussion on developing co-operation in combating trafficking in human beings between the Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation and the OSCE participating States;

28. Looks forward to good co-operation between the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Special Representative on Human Trafficking and the OSCE Special Representative on Human Trafficking.