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Prevention of domestic servitude in diplomatic households imperative, says OSCE Special Representative, in The Hague

( OSCE ) - The OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, at a workshop held in The Hague from 8 to 9 October 2013 urged the Organization's participating States to work together to prevent the little-known phenomenon of the exploitation of domestic workers by employers enjoying diplomatic immunities.

Vous etes servis, a film by Belgian director Jorge Leon, was screened and discussed during the 10th Alliance against Trafficking in Persons Conference, Vienna, 17-18 June 2010.

"Trafficking for domestic servitude has been detected in many OSCE countries, and it is important that we continue sensitizing the diplomatic community to it. Prevention is an imperative in this field," Giammarinaro said. "Protocol departments of the host country must do more to proactively inform domestic workers employed in diplomatic households of their rights, monitor the respect of labour regulations by the employers, and help victims when abuse and exploitation occur."

Representatives of protocol departments from Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey took part in the workshop alongside experts from the OSCE, the Austrian, Belgian Swiss and Dutch Foreign Ministries, and the United States.

The workshop is the third in a series held in different OSCE regions to enhance the prevention of trafficking in human beings for domestic servitude in diplomatic households. The initial workshop was held in Geneva in June 2012, followed by a second workshop in Kyiv in June 2013.

The OSCE Special Representative has taken leadership on this subject, with a view to disseminating good practices and promoting the ratification of ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers that entered into force on 5 September 2013.

The Office of the Special Representative published the first path-breaking study on the topic in 2010, Unprotected Work, Invisible Exploitation: Trafficking for the Purpose of Domestic Servitude , also available in Russian and French.

The event was hosted by the Dutch Foreign Ministry. The project is funded by the Netherlands, as well as the United States, Austria and Switzerland.