OSCE Special Representative calls on media to take an active role in raising awareness of modern-day slavery
OSCE-Moscow. The OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro affirmed in a meeting at the Moscowe Journalist Club the important role of media professionals in strengthening anti-trafficking action.
The meeting, which was part of the Russian Union of Journalists' annual conference, organized in co-operation with Moscow State University, brought together journalists from leading Russian media outlets, as well as experts from academia, international organizations and national non-governmental organizations.
"I call on media professionals across the OSCE region to contribute to the fight against this crime by informing the general public about trafficking and its features," said Giammarinaro.
"Trafficking in human beings is increasingly becoming a systemic component of certain economic sectors, such as agriculture and construction. The media can contribute enormously to raising awareness of this massive-scale organized crime and modern-day slavery."
Giammarinaro encouraged journalists to pay due attention to all aspects of the crime and efforts to combat it.
"The media could raise awareness about the hardships that trafficked persons undergo. Unfortunately, news reports on law enforcement operations very often do not mention the victims and their destiny," Giammarinaro said. "It is also of crucial importance to value and report on the important role played by civil society organizations to strengthen the fight against trafficking."
Trafficking in human beings is both a transnational threat to individual and state security and a gross violation of human rights, emphasized Giammarinaro. "Slavery provides short-term profits for exploiters and long-term structural harm to the society," she added. "The role of the media in disseminating this message all over the OSCE region cannot be overstated."
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