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OVERVIEW OF THE OSCE’S ROLE IN PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO THE PARTICIPATING STATES IN

THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ACTION PLAN AND ITS 2005 AND 2013 ADDENDUMS

While the Action Plan provided the OSCE participating States with recommendations on actions to be taken at the national level, with the 2005 and 2013 Addendums complementing these recommendations through more detailed and advanced provisions, the OSCE structures and institutions have been tasked by the Action Plan and the subsequent Addendums to assist the participating States in their implementation. These parts of the Action Plan and the Addendums, as well as the tasks included in the OSCE anti-trafficking commitments, are obligatory for the OSCE structures and institutions (although once again it should be noted that the primary responsibility in the implementation of the OSCE political commitments and recommendations stays with the participating States, with the OSCE’s structures and institutions available for advice, exper-tise, technical assistance and support).

Given that the 2003 Action Plan was adopted prior to the establishment of the so-called Antitrafficking Mechanism and the appointment of the Special Representative and Coordina-tor for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings534, it did not contain any tasks for the Special Representative and the Of-fice. These unique OSCE structures appeared in the context of a mandate and tasking in the MC.DEC/2/03, the historical decision that endorsed the adoption of the Action Plan, cre-ated the high-level position of the Special Representative and specified the SR’s responsibilities. In 2006, the MC.DEC/3/06 introduced a few changes in terms of the SR’s subordination, but the mandate of the SR/CTHB remained as solid and com-prehensive as in 2003. In short, the mandate can be described from the points of: a) assistance; b) internal co-ordination; and c) external co-operation.

534 The OSCE structures and institutions were tasked by the Action Plan to provide assistance to the participating States in the implementation of recommendations related to the so-called Follow up mechanism. This task envisaged “augmenting current structures and examining the need for a new mechanism, with a view to enhancing the OSCE’s efforts in fighting trafficking in human beings by raising its political profile and giving it a prominent role on the issue, as well as better co-ordinating work among the three dimensions of the OSCE.” The Chairmanship’s consultations on this issue led to the establishment of the SR/CTHB and the Anti-Trafficking Mechanism.

5.1 Assistance

The MC Decision No.3/06 tasked the SR/CTHB to “(a) as-sist OSCE participating States in the implementation of com-mitments and full usage of recommendations set forth in the OSCE Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, including its Addendum Addressing the Special Needs of Child Victims of Trafficking for Protection and Assistance.”535 This assistance is the cornerstone of the mandate. It can be ac-complished through strengthening (c) “co-operation among the relevant authorities of the participating States and between the OSCE and other relevant organizations” (as for example, by means of the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons); through (f) providing and facilitating “advice and technical assistance in the field of legislation as well as policy development, togeth-er, as necessary, with other OSCE structures engaged in this field”; through (g) offering “advice to senior level authorities representing the legislative, judicial, and executive branches in participating States” and discussing with them the implemen-tation of the OSCE Action Plan including its Addendum536 as well as commitments in the area of combating THB.

The MC.DEC/3/06 emphasizes that in specific cases calling for special attention, the SR/CTHB will “seek direct contacts, in an appropriate manner with the participating State con-cerned and discuss the providing of advice and concrete as-sistance, if needed.” This provision has been used by the SR/

CTHB on a number of occasions after having received alarm-ing information about alleged cases of THB, includalarm-ing for la-bour exploitation. The SR/CTHB’s direct communication with relevant authorities led to in-depth discussions on the matter in question as well as follow-up actions.

Taking into account the recommendations of the Action Plan to ensure better coordination at the national level and the call for proper data collection, monitoring and reporting, the SR’s obligation to (h) “co-operate with national co-ordinators, na-tional rapporteurs or other nana-tional mechanisms established by participating States for co-ordinating and monitoring the antitrafficking activities of State institutions” and “with

rel-535 Unfortunately, this task’s implementation has sometimes been challenged due to the use of the “diplomatic” formulae “upon request” and “where appropriate”, which have diminished the scope and the comprehensive nature of the SR/CTHB’s assistance. In this regard, it would be appropriate to point out that neither of the MC Decisions contain reservations of this kind in point a), although they appear in other points.

536 The drafters are referring here to the 2005 Addendum to the Action Plan: Addressing the Special Needs of Child Victims of Trafficking for Protection and Assistance.

evant non-governmental organizations in the participating States” provides an excellent opportunity for such networking.

The mandate of the SR/CTHB demands that the SR “will as-sume responsibility within the OSCE for hosting and facilitat-ing meetfacilitat-ings for the exchange of information and experience between national coordinators, representatives designated by participating States, or experts on combating trafficking in hu-man beings.” This task has been implemented by convening an-nual high-level conferences of the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons, as well as through joint anti-trafficking events or-ganized at the national level, the SR/CTHB country visits, and the OSR/CTHB’s contributions to national capacity-building.

The 2013 Addendum reaffirmed these provisions of the SR’s mandate, stating that “the SR/CTHB will continue to make use of country visits to assist participating States, upon their request, in the implementation of OSCE commitments and support them in the conduct of their national anti-trafficking measures and activities. The SR/CTHB will provide participat-ing States with country visits’ reports and, upon their request, technical assistance and expertise, in cooperation with OSCE field operations and other OSCE executive structures, where appropriate.”537

The mandate of the SR/CTHB is undertaken in a geographi-cally balanced manner, supported by the clearly formulated task to (e) “operate in the whole OSCE area and as appropri-ate, assist the participating States, in a spirit of cooperation and following consultations with the relevant authorities of the participating States concerned, in aiming at the implementa-tion of their commitments in combating human trafficking.”

Indeed, it would be useless to pay attention only to countries of origin or to countries of destination, first, because the bounda-ries between these have merged, and secondly, because of the very nature of THB as a criminal phenomenon. It is highly flexible (adapting quickly to new measures taken to combat trafficking), and has transnational features and links across the OSCE region. The 2013 Addendum, in the new chapter on Partnerships, expanded the geographical boundaries of the SR/CTHB’s activities and tasked the SR/CTHB, as mentioned above, to “further engage, within existing resources, in actiono-riented cooperation with the Mediterranean and Asian Part-ners, in view of preventing all forms of trafficking in human beings, of protecting victims of trafficking and of contributing to better prosecution against traffickers in countries of origin, transit and destination.”

In line with the MC.DEC/3/06, the 2013 Addendum reaf-firmed that “the SR/CTHB will further promote and facilitate, within existing resources, all forms of co-operation among OSCE participating States, including at the bilateral and re-gional level, where appropriate, and collaboration with major international bodies and entities engaged in combating

traf-537 The country visits reports are, upon the consent of the State concerned, placed on the SR/

CTHB website and are publically available.

ficking in human beings, as well as relevant NGOs.” To accom-plish this task, the SR/CTHB has established excellent work-ing relationships at the bilateral and multilateral level with the UNODC, UNHCR, OHCHR, ILO, IOM, UNICEF, CoE, EU/

EC, CBSS, CIS Executive Committee and other organizations.

International NGOs, such as Anti-Slavery International, La Strada International, Terre des Hommes, and many others ac-tively contribute to fruitful partnerships as well.

The above-mentioned provisions of the mandate create the ba-sis for implementing the task to (d) “raise the public and politi-cal profile of combating trafficking in human beings.” A “high profile” is desperately needed to keep anti-trafficking action in the political agenda of the participating States and to ensure adequate attention, budgeting, awareness and efficiency in implementing the “three Ps” plus Partnerships. The 2013 Ad-dendum also addressed this important issue, stating, in terms of tasks, that “the relevant OSCE executive structures, within existing resources, will propagate the OSCE Action Plan and its Addendums in order to raise the profile of THB prevention amongst the general public, in civil society, and in the govern-ment and private sectors.” Interestingly, ten years earlier, the OSCE Action Plan, by tasking the OCEEA to “help mobilize and strengthen the private sector’s efforts to combat traffick-ing in human betraffick-ings by raistraffick-ing awareness and by identifytraffick-ing and disseminating best practices, such as self-regulation, policy guidelines and codes of conduct”, clearly pointed to the role of the business community in the prevention of human trafficking and labour exploitation. This particular attention to the private sector was further developed in the OSCE commitments and in the 2013 Addendum.

According to the Action Plan and the 2013 Addendum, tasks given to the OSCE structures and institutions are grouped ac-cording to Prosecution, Prevention and Protection. They also clarify areas, ways and means of assistance to be provided by the OSCE to the participating States in their implementa-tion of the recommended acimplementa-tions at the naimplementa-tional level. These tasks must be accomplished by the OSCE structures in co-or-dination with the SR/CTHB.

The first set of tasks is related to the first “P” (investigation, law enforcement and prosecution). This envisages promotion and support of legislative review and reform efforts in compli-ance with international standards; promotion of the concept of community policing (supported by the SPMU/TNTD); fa-cilitating the exchange of information between participating States on best practices to be used by relevant investigating units to check the possible criminal and trafficking-related ori-gin of suspicious assets (supported by the SPMU/TNTD jointly with the OCEEA); to work together with the UNODC Global Programme against Money Laundering and use its good offices

to promote the organization of workshops on tackling money-laundering in interested participating States (supported by the OCEEA).538

All relevant OSCE structures are tasked with promoting and encouraging co-operation between law enforcement agencies and civil society. The ODIHR, the SPMU/TNTD and the field operations have contributed to the development of training materials designed for law enforcement authorities dedicated to the investigation of THB and sex crimes, and to the funding of training sessions for law enforcement officers. The SPMU/

TNTD initiated a series of online training seminars on child sexual abuse. The Anti-Terrorism Unit (now a part of TNTD) organized workshops that focused on detecting documents used for illegal purposes in relation to trafficking in human beings, detecting false travel documents being used for entry of trafficked persons, and improving non-technical means of detection, such as interview techniques.

The 2013 Addendum to the Action Plan, consistent with the previously defined role of the OSCE structures, tasked the OSR/CTHB, in co-ordination with other relevant OSCE executive structures according to their respective mandates, to continue raising awareness in co-operation with participat-ing States and to promote, upon their request, the exchange of best practices developed by participating States and relevant international organizations in the protection of victims and the prosecution of THB offenders, including the use of THB-relat-ed financial investigations and antimoneylaundering measures.

Furthermore, in accordance with the 2013 Addendum, rel-evant OSCE executive structures, in line with their respective mandates and upon the request of the participating States, are to assist, where appropriate, in the planning and implement-ing of different activities in the sphere of awareness-raisimplement-ing and training in anti-trafficking strategies, in particular in capacity building for law enforcement efforts to prevent and combat THB. This task is undertaken on a regular basis by the OSR/

CTHB and the TNTD/SPMU, in close cooperation with, for example, FRONTEX and the CIS International Training Cen-tre on Migration and Combating THB.

In the area of prevention (the second “P”) the participating States tasked the OSCE structures “to enhance data collection and research on trafficking in persons, particularly on traffick-ing in children, includtraffick-ing its effects on Roma and Sinti com-munities.” Due to on-going debates concerning potential forms of THB that are, as yet, not recognized at the international level, the OSR/CTHB, in coordination with other relevant OSCE structures according to their mandates, was tasked by the 2013 Addendum to “contribute within available resources to the efforts aimed at providing evidence-based data on pat-terns, forms and flows of THB for which a lack of reliable data persist.” In this regard, it would be highly valuable if official

in-538 This task was implemented in 2008 and 2011; the results were subsequently published.

formation were provided by the participating States on the in-vestigation and prosecution of THB-related crimes (not merely allegations, stories or assumptions).

As a means of assistance in combating and preventing THB for labour exploitation, the OCEEA was tasked by the Action Plan “to support the promotion and the development of na-tional public information resource centres to allow individuals to check the legitimacy of businesses, particularly those advo-cating employment abroad…; to continue to promote SMEs [small and medium enterprises] training and to target it in par-ticular at high-risk groups, including by assisting in the devel-opment of legislation to reduce barriers to the establishment of SMEs; to develop programmes to tackle economic factors that increase vulnerability of women and minorities to trafficking, including discrimination in the workplace and lack of access to credit.” Also in this area a great deal of work has been done by the OSCE’s Senior Gender Adviser, OSR/CTHB, ODIHR and the field operations in Central Asia, SEE and Eastern Europe.

Furthermore, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in its Resolu-tion on Responsibility to Combat Human Trafficking in Gov-ernment Contracts for Goods and Services, adopted in July 2015, “calls on participating States to require by law and regu-lation that all government contracts for goods and services go only to businesses that have a plan in place to ensure that their subcontractors and employees do not participate in activities that contribute to or that constitute human trafficking.”539 The OSCE structures were also recognized as instrumental in awareness-raising. For this purpose the ODIHR and the field operations, where appropriate, were tasked to “continue to contribute to research efforts as well as promoting and carry-ing out awareness-raiscarry-ing initiatives in co-operation with rele-vant partners throughout the OSCE region.” The OSCE’s Press and Public Information Section (PPIS) engaged in helping “to raise media awareness of OSCE activities in the field of traf-ficking.” The ODIHR was tasked “to enhance training activities with regard to the responsibility of the media for dealing with the topic of trafficking in a sensitive manner and without rein-forcing negative stereotypes.” The 2013 Addendum developed this provision further, stating that the “Gender Section of the Secretariat will, where appropriate, assist participating States, upon their request, with promoting gender equality for men and women including through training and the use of tools for raising public awareness thus contributing to the prevention of all forms of THB.” The OSCE executive structures were tasked by the Addendum to “provide assistance to the participating States, upon their request and within existing resources, in the development of training modules for various stakehold-ers mentioned in Chapter III, paragraph 2.1.” For example, the

539 OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Resolution on Responsibility to Combat Human Trafficking in Government Contracts for Goods and Services, (2015). Available at https://www.oscepa.

org/meetings/annual-sessions/2015-annual-session-helsinki/2015-helsinki-final-declara-tion/2287-12 accessed 18 November 2015.

OSR/CTHB took pioneering steps in providing the participat-ing States with the Handbook “How to Prevent Human Traf-ficking for Domestic Servitude in Diplomatic Households and Protect Private Domestic Workers”.540 As already mentioned, the OSR/CTHB also co-operated with the Russian Union of Journalists and Moscow State University in drafting the man-ual “Media against Trafficking in Human Beings” for media students and postgraduates541, and in preparing and presenting a related training course. This course later became part of the regular curriculum at the Faculty of Journalism, thus ensur-ing the sustainability and effectiveness of the work done by the OSCE partners in this project.

Awareness-raising was also needed for OSCE personnel. In this regard, important roles were assigned by the Action Plan to the OSCE Training Co-ordinator, the Senior Adviser on Gen-der Issues and the Senior Security Co-ordinator, with the aim of developing and implementing compulsory staff training on gender issues, THB, and relevant regulations and guidelines.

To ensure that staff members of OSCE field operations do not engage in or in any way knowingly facilitate THB (part 4 of the OSCE Code of Conduct, which is an integral part of the Staff Regulations), the Secretary General was responsible for adopt-ing comprehensive staff instructions. The 2013 Addendum strengthened this, tasking the OSCE structures to “update, within existing resources, the relevant internal regulations to ensure that no activities of the OSCE executive structures, including contracts for goods and services, contribute to any form of THB.” Furthermore, the Addendum stated that the OSCE structures “will update the relevant internal regulations to ensure that the OSCE personnel understand their duties and responsibilities and receive relevant training, in particular with regard to the employment of domestic workers.” This provision of the Addendum manifested a direct response by the OSCE to the challenge of THB for the purpose of domestic servitude, including in diplomatic households, and the OSCE’s due dili-gence in addressing this issue. To translate this readiness into practice, in 2014 the OSR/CTHB organized a staff briefing and contributed to a new Staff Circular No. 05/2014 on the “Re-quirements for the employment of private domestic workers in private households by persons enjoying privileges and im-munities in Austria”, issued on 24 November 2014.

To be even more consistent with the pioneering efforts in com-bating THB for domestic servitude, in 2013 the OSR/CTHB,

To be even more consistent with the pioneering efforts in com-bating THB for domestic servitude, in 2013 the OSR/CTHB,