KYIV, 2 December 2011 - A roundtable discussion supported by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine to promote co-operation between the Ukrainian authorities and Kyiv-based embassies and consulates to prevent human trafficking was held today.
The roundtable, held on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, gathered newly appointed representatives from the visa sections of foreign embassies and consulates in Ukraine in order to increase their awareness of the problem of trafficking in persons and to discuss ways to identify and assist potential trafficked persons.
The participants also discussed Ukraine's responses and the role of embassies and consulates in combating this crime. Particular attention was paid to legislative developments in Ukraine and measures to prevent the issuing of false identity and travel documents.
"Effective co-operation between consular officials and national authorities is crucial for combating transnational forms of human trafficking," said Ambassador Lubomir Kopaj, the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine. "Such meetings help to adjust mutual strategies and provide practical information to be used by consular officials in case of contact with potential victims."
As outlined in the OSCE Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, increasing awareness among immigration authorities, consular and diplomatic personnel about trafficking in human beings is an important measure in preventing this crime.
The annual event serves as a platform for the relevant foreign officers to meet Ukrainian officials and discuss ways to co-operate and ensure an effective exchange of information.
The meeting was organized by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine in co-operation with the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry as part of a project on "Advancement of Ukrainian institutions' capacity to better prosecute trafficking in human beings and assist its victims".