This guide was developed with the aim to strengthen law enforcement capacities for preventing and combating trafficking in human beings, facilitate identification of the emerging trends and new forms of human trafficking and serve as a minimum set standard for trainers.
Human Trafficking not only involves so much human suffering, but it is the new slavery, no longer legitimized by law but implying the same heinous subjugation. Trafficked people, including children, are forced to work for no wages, are sexually exploited, are beaten and even killed if they try to leave, and are constantly threatened, violated and traumatized.
The OSCE is committed to playing an active role in addressing human trafficking, which is both a severe violation of human rights and a crime. Human trafficking cuts across all three dimensions of the OSCE’s work – politico-military, economic and environmental, and human – and therefore requires a multi-disciplinary and comprehensive approach. The OSCE’s political commitments constitute a comprehensive framework for preventing and combating trafficking in human beings for the OSCE participating States.
In 2000, the OSCE participating States adopted their first Ministerial Council Decision specifically addressing trafficking in human beings. Since then, the OSCE has set the fight against this form of modern-day slavery as a priority and has dedicated numerous Ministerial Council Decisions to trafficking in human beings.
In 2003, the OSCE Ministerial Council endorsed the OSCE Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings and established the position of the OSCE Special Representative. The OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (SR/CTHB), called for a second wave of anti-trafficking action in the fight against modern-day slavery, arguing that anti-trafficking action must be improved in four significant ways.
First, the human rights of vulnerable and trafficked persons must take precedence, including their right to compensation. Second, prevention is key, especially through non-discrimination and social inclusion of vulnerable groups and persons such as Roma, persons belonging to minorities, migrants, children on the move, asylum seekers and refugees. Third, all related policy areas such as migration and labour policies should be consistent with anti-trafficking action. Fourth, enhanced international co-operation is needed to tackle organized crime and provide better victim protection.
OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier underlined the link between human rights and trafficking in the OSCE context: “We cannot afford to underestimate the gravity of discrimination and exploitation as cross-cutting components of trafficking, seriously undermining the core values of the OSCE. Together we will find better ways to address modern-day slavery through empowerment, non-discrimination and human rights protection, through vigorous implementation of the OSCE commitments.”
One of the strategic priorities of the SR/CTHB is to promote a human rights based approach in all anti-trafficking activities ... adopting a gender perspective on, and a child sensitive approach to all aspects of anti-trafficking policies, and action. The Ministerial Council decided in 2005 to continue to pay closer attention to the threat of human trafficking, and to pursue a multidimensional and victim-centred approach to issues related to combating trafficking in human beings as an aspect of organized crime, criminality and corruption, within the OSCE concept of comprehensive security.
This guide reflects the OSCE’s three dimensional approach, its integration with respect for diversity, and promotion of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, democracy and rule of law. It advocates the importance of a victim-centred human rights approach whilst providing best practice information.