Washington Declaration - Resolution on Combating Involvement in Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by International Peacekeeping Forces (2005)

OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Declaration, Washington 2005

RESOLUTION ON

COMBATING INVOLVEMENT IN TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS

AND SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE BY INTERNATIONAL PEACEKEEPING FORCES

1. Recalling the Assembly's previous resolutions condemning trafficking in human beings as a violation of human rights and calling on participating states to prevent and punish acts of trafficking and to protect and assist victims of trafficking, and, in particular, the Edinburgh Declaration which requested that participating states address the nexus between international peacekeeping forces and trafficking in human beings,

2. Stressing the obligation for the participating states to ensure that legislation to protect and promote the rights of victims does not contain any discriminatory provisions relating to sex, race, colour, origin, language, religion or any other such criteria,

3. Welcoming the Ministerial Council’s continued attention to the problem of trafficking in human beings, reflected by the decision taken at Sofia, December 2004, on child trafficking which will lead to OSCE guidelines for participating states to use in ensuring protection and assistance for child trafficking victims that are in the best interests of the child,

4. Concerned that international peacekeeping troops and civilian contractors accompanying them, as well as staff of international organizations, including the OSCE, could be a contributing factor to the demand side of the trafficking cycle, given that the demand for commercial sex acts fuels the demand for trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation,

5. Expressing disgust and horror at the sexual exploitation and abuse perpetrated against the local population by members of the peacekeeping forces at the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo,

6. Commending United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan for issuing a policy in October 2003 on “Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse” which established clear guidelines of acceptable conduct by United Nations staff,

7. Noting the importance of the United Nations' anti-trafficking policy for peacekeepers detailed in the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ Position Paper on “Human Trafficking and United Nations Peacekeeping” endorsed by Secretary General Kofi Annan in July 2004,

8. Welcoming the “Comprehensive Strategy to Eliminate Future Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations” prepared by Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein, Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations, endorsed by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, and presented to the General Assembly on 24 March 2005,

9 Noting with deep regret that a proposed decision on “Ensuring that International Forces and Missions Contribute to Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings” was not agreed by the OSCE Ministerial Council in Sofia despite the Parliamentary Assembly's recommendation in the Edinburgh Declaration that such a decision be taken,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

10. Calls on those participating states which have not yet done so to ratify the United Nations Convention against transnational crime and its Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children;

11. Calls on OSCE participating states to commit to ensure that military and civilian forces deployed abroad with peacekeeping or other similar missions and civilian contractors accompanying them, as well as employees of international organizations, do not engage in or facilitate trafficking in human beings, exploit victims of trafficking, or engage in sexual exploitation and abuse of local populations;

12. Urges participating states to review the sufficiency of their national laws, regulations, and other relevant documents, such as guidelines and codes of conduct, including those applicable to the military forces, to ensure that those addressing trafficking in human beings or sexual exploitation and abuse can be enforced with respect to their nationals who are serving on peacekeeping missions abroad or other similar missions;

13. Calls on participating states with deployed forces to assist, consistent with their national legislation and regulations, responsible authorities in the host country in their efforts to combat trafficking in human beings;

14. Insists that participating states instruct their military and civilian forces in policies against trafficking in human beings and conduct other appropriate training;

15. Calls on OSCE participating states publicly to endorse and actively implement the United Nations directives against sexual exploitation and abuse;

16. Urges the Ministerial Council to adopt, at its meeting in Ljubljana, a decision regarding the responsibilities of participating states to ensure that military and civilian forces deployed abroad with peacekeeping or other similar missions and civilian contractors accompanying them, as well as international organizations' personnel, do not engage in or facilitate trafficking in human beings, or exploit victims of trafficking, or engage in sexual exploitation and abuse of local populations, including through adoption and implementation by participating states of appropriate policies, codes of conduct, training and accountability mechanisms for military service personnel and civilians accompanying the military.