OSCE Special Representative urges enhanced role for NGOs in promoting empowerment and social inclusion of trafficked persons
(OSCE) - The OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, called for full recognition of the role of NGOs as major actors of anti-trafficking action, during the launch of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking in London on 8 March.
"NGOs play a pivotal role in providing quality standard services for victims and promoting their access to effective remedies, including compensation," said Giammarinaro.
"I am confident that the U.N. Voluntary Trust Fund will support NGOs in bringing direct and effective benefit to trafficked persons. The Trust Fund is a powerful tool towards building viable options for the long-term social inclusion of trafficked persons."
She praised the expertise of NGOs in providing services and legal assistance to trafficked persons, and said that no referral mechanism can work without the direct and significant involvement of civil society organizations.
Giammarinaro also called on authorities to adopt gender-sensitive migration policies, and understand the complex combination of vulnerability and strength of trafficked persons - and trafficked women especially - who, having migrated to secure a better economic situation for themselves and their families, fall prey to unscrupulous individuals who take advantage of their multiple dependencies.
Giammarinaro concluded by emphasizing the importance of legal assistance and compensation as crucial elements of empowerment and self-determination, enabling trafficked persons to regain control of their lives and pursue their own objectives.
"Today, only a small minority of victims actually receive compensation for damages suffered," she said. "We need to change this situation and make legal services available and accessible to trafficked persons."