Subscribe to our Newsletter

OSCE-ODIHR launches publication on protecting human rights in the return of trafficked persons

OSCE - 25 September 2014 - Warsaw


Snježana Bokulić, Head of the ODIHR Human Rights Department, presenting The Guiding Principles on Human Rights in the Return of Trafficked Persons  (OSCE/Murat Gungor)


To assist OSCE participating States in ensuring a human rights based approach in the return of victims of human trafficking, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) released a publication containing guidance in this area on 25 September 2014 at a side event during the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw.

The Guiding Principles on Human Rights in the Return of Trafficked Persons presents seven such principles, based on relevant OSCE commitments and international human rights standards, with each highlighting key considerations and recommendations for state authorities and civil society bodies.

The principles detail the manner in which the return of victims of trafficking should be conducted to address issues such as dignity, and privacy and non-discrimination, while also putting specific emphasis on the co-operation between state authorities and agencies within and between returning and receiving countries.

"Ensuring the safe return of trafficked persons and preventing their re-victimization requires a co-ordinated response by state actors, including law enforcement agencies, and civil society organizations, as well as the co-operation of international actors and organizations," said Snježana Bokulić, Head of the ODIHR Human Rights Department. "However, the ultimate responsibility for protecting and assisting victims of trafficking lies with the state."

This publication is aimed mainly at assisting state authorities and civil society bodies in developing, applying, evaluating and reforming legislation, policies and practices related to trafficking, particularly to the return of trafficked persons, that abide by the human rights-based approach.

"Inclusion of NGOs into return and post-return processes is important in order to achieve sustainable results," said Tatiana Fomina, Manager of Analytical and Lobby Centre of the NGO La Strada Moldova.

The Guiding Principles build on previous ODIHR publications on anti-trafficking: National Referral Mechanisms: A Practical Handbook and Compensation for Trafficked and Exploited Persons in the OSCE Region, published in 2004 and 2008, respectively.