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More comprehensive approach needed to combat human trafficking for labour exploitation in BiH, say participants at OSCE discussion

(OSCE) - Participants of an OSCE discussion which took place this month said that there is a clear need for continued efforts towards combating human trafficking for labour exploitation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including through strengthened co-ordination, improved assistance to victims and more efficient prosecution of perpetrators.


Labour exploitation is less visible than other forms of trafficking, and to effectively prevent it, co-ordinated efforts by all actors are needed, the meeting participants agreed. They identified early identification of undeclared work and the consideration of the migrant perspective in tackling labour exploitation as indispensible elements of effective strategies.


The OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro who took part in the discussion underlined the importance of setting up workable mechanisms to diminish the risks of trafficking. "The experience of some participating States of the OSCE clearly indicates that regulating, licensing, monitoring and establishing control mechanisms of recruitment activity is crucial to protect workers against fraudulent and abusive practices that can lead to trafficking," she said.


At the event, the OSCE Mission launched its reference paper Trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation. The publication provides recommendations to policymakers and practitioners, which include treating street children as possible victims of trafficking, improving outreach services, involving labour inspectors in national referral mechanisms, as well as enhancing and simplifying procedures.


Andrea Cellino, the Director of Policy and Planning Unit at the OSCE Mission to BiH, said: "Our goal is to help strengthen the responses of domestic institutions and ensure a long-term, multi-agency commitment to combat trafficking for labour exploitation." The protection of victims and prevention of trafficking were key priorities, along with the efficient sanctioning of perpetrators, he added.


The OSCE Mission has actively supported anti-trafficking efforts since 2003. The Mission monitors all trafficking trials in BiH, the provision of assistance to victims, as well as domestic criminal legislation and the justice system's ability to effectively sanction trafficking offences; it also works with labour inspectors, prosecutors and NGOs to build their capacity and encourage debate on this issue.


The Reference paper can be downloaded here.