European Interest

OSCE leaders call for victim-centred efforts to stop human trafficking


Ahead of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on 30 July, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia Bujar Osmani, OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid, and Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Matteo Mecacci called for renewed efforts across the OSCE region to combat human trafficking and prevent exploitation.

“We are a people-focused Chairpersonship. We must all step up our joint efforts if we are to end the scourge of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. In doing so, we have to put the people – the victims, survivors, and those at risk – first and at the centre of our collective efforts across all three dimensions of security,” said Chairman-in-Office Bujar Osmani.

“The fight against human trafficking is at the heart of what we do. It’s about working together across societies and government to protect those who are most vulnerable,” said Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid. “With less than one percent of trafficking victims ever identified, it is clear we need to prioritize anti-trafficking efforts to make sure we leave no one behind.”

“Human trafficking causes untold misery and pain to survivors,” said ODIHR Director Matteo Mecacci. “To fight this heinous crime, political action is needed at the highest level. At the same time, we must put the lived experience of survivors at the heart of both policy and legislation to combat trafficking effectively and lastingly.”

The OSCE plays a crucial role in helping its participating States address the widespread threat of human trafficking. The OSCE’s efforts, led by the Office of the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, brings together the OSCE Secretariat, ODIHR, and field operations to develop national and regional anti-trafficking responses on protection, prevention and prosecution.

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