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OSCE Special Representative puts spotlight on trafficking for domestic servitude in diplomatic households

(OSCE) -  The OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, urged the Organization's participating States today to take concrete steps to prevent trafficking for domestic servitude in diplomatic households at the first OSCE workshop on the topic for South-Western Europe in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, the OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, at the opening of the tenth Alliance against Trafficking in Persons conference. Vienna, 17 June 2010. (OSCE/Alberto Andreani)

 

"It is important to sensitize the diplomatic community to the reality of trafficking for domestic servitude, which has been detected in many OSCE countries. Prevention is an imperative in this field," said Giammarinaro. "The foreign ministry must act proactively in every country, inform workers about their rights, monitor the respect of labour regulations by employers, and help victims when abuse and exploitation occur."

 

The OSCE Special Representative has taken leadership on this subject, with a view to disseminating good practices. Momentum has also been generated by the adoption of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers in June 2011.

 

The inaugural workshop in Geneva is part of a series of five that will be held in different OSCE regions to enhance the prevention of trafficking in human beings for domestic servitude in diplomatic households.

 

Representatives of protocol departments from Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States are participating in the workshop alongside experts from the OSCE and the ILO.

 

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.