High-level diplomats from across the OSCE region met at the Secretariat today to discuss ways to stamp out trafficking for domestic servitude in diplomatic households, focusing on the outcomes from a series of workshops held by the Organization’s anti-trafficking Office during the past three years.

“Participating States have issued new measures and guidelines since we began our workshops in 2012,” said OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Ambassador Madina Jarbussynova. “This event proved to be an excellent forum for discussing these developments and examining how they have been applied across the OSCE region.”

Workshops were held in Geneva, Kyiv, The Hague and Brussels to raise awareness and enhance the prevention of trafficking in human beings for domestic servitude in diplomatic households. The Special Representative issued a handbook last month to summarize and expand upon the issues discussed at these meetings, and protocol officers and other diplomats from a majority of participating States received this publication today.

Protocol officers can play a key role in fighting this crime by informing foreign workers of their rights and monitoring the respect of national regulations by employers.

“I am pleased at the extraordinary level of interest shown by the participating States and Israel, a Partner for Co-operation,” Jarbussynova said. “This illustrates that we have the political will to eliminate the problem.”

Key speakers at the event included Agnieszka Szczepaniak, Poland’s Head of Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities; Claire Buckley, Ireland’s Assistant Chief of Protocol; Gladys Boluda, the U.S. State Department’s Assistant Chief of Protocol, and Martine Brunschwig Graf, the Chair of Switzerland’s “l’Amiable compositeur” mediation office.

Support for the project was provided by Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States.