Washington Declaration - Resolution on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (2005)

OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Declaration, Washington 2005

RESOLUTION ON COMBATING TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS

1. Noting with concern the rise of trafficking in persons as a serious, profitable and inhuman form of organized crime,

2. Referring to the resolution on the subject of trafficking in human beings adopted by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly at the Annual Session in Edinburgh in 2004 and calling to mind the adoption of the OSCE Action Plan on Trafficking in Human Beings in July 2003,

3. Concerned that, despite continuous political efforts over the past ten years, trafficking in human beings, including children, continues to be a problem in the OSCE region,

4. Convinced that an approach to combating trafficking in human beings is to be found in an improvement of the living and working conditions of the potential victim,

5. Concerned that the deeper causes of trafficking in human beings, which are to be found first and foremost in the countries of origin, are not being given enough consideration: in particular, causes such as poverty and unemployment, weak social and economic structures, an unstable security situation, violence against women and children, as well as discrimination, in particular as a result of gender, race, or ethnic background,

6. Aware that the countries of destination, too, make trafficking in human beings possible through a continuing demand for sexual exploitation as well as cheap and easily exploitable labour without social security protection,

7. Welcoming the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, the aims of which are to combat trafficking in human beings, in all its forms, both at the national and international levels, whether there is a connection to organized crime or not, to focus on the protection of victims and to ensure compliance with its provisions by the parties to the convention through independent monitoring mechanisms,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

8. Calls upon the OSCE participating states to take effective measures in the countries of origin to combat the causes that result in victims of trafficking in human beings, among other things by:

    - engaging in close socio-economic cooperation,

    - providing development assistance and expanding economic cooperation,

    - promoting the creation of jobs for women, in particular by creating favourable conditions for the start-up of small and medium-sized businesses, and

    - guaranteeing freedom of association for employers and employees as well as freedom of activity for such associations;

9. Calls upon the OSCE participating states to improve school and career training opportunities as well as access to the labour market for those groups threatened by trafficking in human beings (children, women, ethnic minorities);

10. Calls upon the OSCE participating states, as well as the countries of origin, the countries of transit and the countries of destination of the victims of trafficking in human beings to conclude agreements on legal and police cooperation as well as on the humanitarian aspects of this problem;

11. Calls upon the OSCE participating states to take steps to provide adequate assistance and protection to victims of trafficking in persons and to their families;

12. Calls upon the OSCE participating states to help create public awareness of the problem through information campaigns and drawing media attention to the different forms of trafficking in human beings, focusing on specific target groups one at a time;

13. Calls upon the OSCE participating states to sign the relevant ILO core agreements, if this has not been done already, and to implement and apply them at the national level with a view to achieving a minimum standard of financial and social security for the working population;

14. Proposes regular evaluation of and reporting on the progress being made in implementing the ILO minimum standards in the OSCE participating states with a view to promoting international cooperation in support of the realization of these minimum standards and, as such, effectively combating trafficking in human beings in a core area;

15. Appeals to all OSCE participating states to sign and quickly ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.