The OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings Maria Grazia Giammarinaro received a Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Hero Award on 19 June 2012 from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to honour her significant contributions in the struggle to end modern-day slavery.
Giammarinaro, who has served as the OSCE Special Representative since March 2010, is one of ten notable individuals from around the world recognized by the U.S. State Department this year in its 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report, which was released on 19 June by Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, who directs the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
"I'm deeply honoured to receive the TIP Hero Award. I consider this a stimulus to redouble my efforts aimed at enhancing the fight against modern-day slavery in the OSCE region," Giammarinaro said.
She underlined that the U.S., under the leadership of Secretary Clinton, has championed the fight against modern-day slavery worldwide.
"This TIP Hero Award contributes to highlighting the OSCE’s commitment to the eradication of modern-day slavery as an integral part of its core values to promote freedoms, rights and security," Giammarinaro continued.
The Special Representative has promoted the OSCE’s human-rights approach to human trafficking, advocating for a victim-centred focus, and strengthening co-operation between governments and civil society, which has proved vital to both effective protection of victims and successful prosecutions.
The Special Representative is a high-level political position set up by the 56 OSCE participating States to assist them in implementing the commitments they have adopted in the field of preventing and combating human trafficking. Giammarinaro facilitates political debate on the issue, including through hosting the Alliance Against Trafficking in Persons, a forum initiated by the OSCE in 2004 that brings together all relevant international organizations as well as non-governmental organizations.