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Mgr Janusz Urbanczyk - Stift Klosterneuburg

Holy See’s Key Points to Prevent Child Trafficking

Monsignor Janusz S. Urbańczyk, at Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

The Holy See continued to emphasize the need to curb child trafficking during the May 28-29 meetings of Session I of the 1st Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting (SHDM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), held in Vienna.

Monsignor Janusz S. Urbańczyk, the Holy See’s permanent representative to the OSCE, stressed two key elements:

1) “Strengthen education and awareness-raising efforts, including human rights education, and develop and implement empowerment programmes which take into account the particular needs of women, men, girls and boys, in order to enhance the capacity to recognize, prevent and fight human trafficking within communities” (6/17, OP 6);

2) “Promote multi-agency, cross-sectoral and multinational capacity-building programmes that foster measures to prevent human trafficking in all of its forms, with a particular focus on factors that make people vulnerable to trafficking” (6/17, OP 4);

The Monsignor’s Full Statement:

Mr. Moderator,

As this is the first time that the Holy See takes the floor during this 1st Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting of 2018, allow me to thank the Italian OSCE Chairmanship, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (OSR/CTHB) for organizing this event devoted to “Child Trafficking – From Prevention to Protection”. My Delegation’s gratitude goes also to the keynote presenters and to the introductory speakers at this first session for their thought-provoking contributions to our discussions. Continuing OSCE efforts on preventing child trafficking

At the 24th Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council, held here in Vienna last December, two landmark MC decisions were adopted: No. 6/17 – Strengthening efforts to prevent trafficking in human beings, and No. 7/17 – Strengthening Efforts to Combat All forms of Child Trafficking, Including for Sexual Exploitation, as well as Other Forms of Sexual Exploitation of Children. These two decisions built on notable attention given last year to the issue of child trafficking, particularly at the 17th Conference of the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons (“Trafficking in human beings and the best interest of the child”) and at the 2017 Human Dimension Seminar (“Rights of the child: children in situations of risk”). The Holy See wishes to commend the 2017 Austrian OSCE Chairmanship for its efforts, and the Delegations of Belarus, Italy and the United States of America for having tabled the draft of MC decision 7/17 and having worked so diligently to ensure its adoption.

In MC decision 7/17, the participating States affirmed what should serve as our common motivation at this Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting; namely, that the “persistence of all forms of child trafficking, both transnational and internal, including the trafficking of children for the purposes of sexual and labour exploitation” is deeply alarming and demands “more vigorous measures to combat these horrific crimes”. My Delegation is convinced that the OSCE’s longstanding engagement with the fight against trafficking in human beings, and the numerous commitments adopted, best practices gained and projects and programs conducted, provide not only a strong catalyst but also a valuable foundation on which the 57 participating States should continue to work.

Education and awareness-raising are essential tools to the prevention of child trafficking. The Holy See believes that both – in their broadest terms – are effective means of preventing children from being trafficked, as lack of access to education is one of the factors that make children vulnerable to trafficking. Education also helps to ensure that this terrible form of modern slavery is known by all of society, and therefore prevented and fought by all stakeholders. This would include everything from awareness-raising in the community to focused training for “relevant authorities, civil society organizations, health care and social workers as well as others that may have first contact with victims” (MD. Dec. 6/17, OP 5).

As recommendations to this Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting, at each session, my Delegation will highlight two or three concrete points from the operative sections of last year’s two MC decisions on trafficking in human beings. In so doing, my Delegation calls for further consideration and action within the OSCE on these points, something that will no doubt assist participating States in their implementation of these:

1) “Strengthen education and awareness-raising efforts, including human rights education, and develop and implement empowerment programmes which take into account the particular needs of women, men, girls, and boys, in order to enhance the capacity to recognize, prevent and fight human trafficking within communities” (6/17, OP 6);

2) “Promote multi-agency, cross-sectoral and multinational capacity-building programmes that foster measures to prevent human trafficking in all of its forms, with a particular focus on factors that make people vulnerable to trafficking” (6/17, OP 4);

Thank you, Mr. Moderator.

Copyright © 2017 Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, All rights reserved.

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