Human trafficking for the purpose of forced criminality in focus at 2016 OSCE Alliance against Trafficking in Persons Conference
VIENNA, 11 April 2016 – Preventing the exploitation of human trafficking victims through forced criminality is the focus of the 2016 Alliance conference, a two-day forum where leading experts from governmental as well as non-governmental organizations will discuss how to tackle this complex form of abuse.
The ongoing refugee and migration crisis in the OSCE region has pushed the issue of human trafficking to the top of the agenda for many governments.
“Trafficking is an aspect of modern day slavery”, said Ambassador Eberhard Pohl, Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council, in his opening remarks. “Although forced criminality sometimes appears to be a lesser known aspect of trafficking, it is a significant challenge for OSCE participating States. I am confident that this conference will contribute to enhancing the efforts to tackle this problem on the ground across our region.”
Participants will discuss the challenges associated with this subject, including how to protect victims, how to improve law enforcement investigations and how to expand the judiciary’s ability to carry out prosecutions of traffickers.
In his opening address, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier cited a recent Europol estimate that 10,000 children disappeared after arriving in Europe last year, leading to fears that many had been trafficked. He encouraged conference participants to remember these young victims.
“This adds even greater urgency to the need to combat human trafficking and protect the most vulnerable groups of people – in particular, but not only children – regardless of their age, status, and origin”, the Secretary General said.
Zannier asked all OSCE participating States to take full advantage of the Alliance by sharing and discussing their national experiences in combating trafficking with the experts in attendance.
The Alliance against Trafficking in Persons is a broad international forum initiated by the OSCE in 2004. It brings together regional, international and intergovernmental, as well as non-governmental organizations, to jointly prevent and combat human trafficking.