OSCE Special Representative highlights role of parliamentarians in combating human trafficking
( OSCE)- Strengthening regional co-operation and dialogue for an effective response to human and child trafficking is the aim of an OSCE-supported regional workshop that started in Skopje last week.
The project, organized by the OSCE Mission to Skopje in co-operation with the French Government, aims at identifying and reinforcing the most efficient mechanisms and practices for preventing, identifying, referring and protecting child victims.
At this first of three planned regional workshops, non-governmental representatives from the country as well as from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and France will share their experiences and innovative practices, also for protecting those at risk of being trafficked.
"Children account for between 40 and 50 percent of trafficked victims worldwide. The countries in South-Eastern Europe are not exempt from this terrible crime. Therefore, the first regional workshop is dedicated to ensuring better prevention of trafficking and identifying children who are actual and potential victims," said the Deputy Head of OSCE Mission to Skopje, Ambassador Natalya Drozd.
"Trafficked children have special needs - they need to be provided with special care and assistance. They are entitled to the same rights like all other children based on universal human rights principles. We have to put the interests and the rights of the child at the centre of every anti-trafficking policy and action."
Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy Ibrahim Ibrahimi added: "Advancing national policies against child trafficking is one of the strategic priorities of the Government. To this effect, national legislation has been amended, and new structures like the National Referral Mechanism and a state-run shelter for trafficked victims have been established. However, a wide spectrum of activities for prevention and the early identification of child victims of trafficking need to be undertaken by government and non-governmental organizations."
The project will result in a set of recommendations and best practices that will be distributed to all actors involved in the fight against child trafficking in the region.