Sunday, September 26, 2004

OSCE Calls for Action Against Human Trafficking

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE, on Thursday urged governments to improve the human rights protection for victims of forced illegal immigration, or trafficking.

Christian Strohal, director of OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, said: "We know trafficking is a terrible abuse of human rights, effectively a form of slavery, slavery in the sex industry, but also slavery in labor," he said.

According to OSCE estimates, hundreds of thousands of people, most of them women and girls, are trafficked in Europe every year in what is a billion-euro (dollar) illegal industry.

An international conference in Helsinki, ending Friday, aims to set standards for assistance and protection for the victims, improving their social standing, access to legal assistance and rights to financial compensation, according to organizers.

Source: Agence France-Presse.