Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, OSCE and other International Organizations in Vienna

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Statement on trafficking in human beings (OSCE/HDIM)

Statement of the Czech Republic delivered at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (Working Session 10: Humanitarian issues and other commitments I., September 30, 2013)

Madam Moderator,

Fully subscribing to the EU statement, I would like to make a statement in my national capacity.

We highly appreciate the ongoing efforts made by the OSCE Special Representative Ms. Giammarinaro and the ODIHR to fight trafficking in human beings. The Czech Republic puts special attention to the prevention of the trafficking, as well as the protection and assistance to its victims, and welcomes the opportunity to share its experience within this session.

Since 2003, this area has become a priority within the fight against organized crime, when a special Program on Support and Protection of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings of the Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic was developed. This program provides assistance to victims of trafficking, especially to those trafficked for the purpose of sexual and labor exploitation. Several Czech NGOs, including La Strada Czech Republic, Caritas of the Archdiocese of Prague and Diaconate of the Czech Brotherhood Evangelical Church, cooperate with the Ministry of Interior on providing assistance to the victims.

Furthermore, the Inter-ministerial Coordination Group was established in 2008, which serves as a platform for information exchange and coordination activities in the area of the fight against trafficking at national level. Members of this group – NGOs and governmental organizations – have the right to contribute to annual status reports and comment on crucial strategic documents regarding the trafficking in human beings.

In 2012, the Czech Republic adopted a strategic document called National Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings in the Czech Republic for the period 2012 – 2015, which sets out a number of measures in the area of trafficking in persons, focusing among others on description of the situation in socially excluded areas, systematic education in the area of trafficking, ratification of important international instruments, including the Palermo Protocols and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. Since the main obstacle to their ratification has been recently removed, when the new act on criminal liability of legal persons came into effect as of 1 January 2012, the Czech Republic is now ready to ratify these instruments.

In conclusion, let me briefly mention a 3-year project entitled “Discovering Trafficking for the Purpose of Forced Labor and Labor Exploitation”, realized in partnership of La Strada with the Ministry of Interior and the Judicial Academy. The goal of this project, which was finalized last year and was supported by the EU Commission and the Open Society Institute, was to enable an access to legal assistance and services provided by the European Union for the victims of trafficking, as well as to analyze the definition of the trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation and forced labor, as it is used in the Czech Republic and selected EU countries. The outcome of the project was introduced within an international conference, which took place in Prague in April 2013.

Thank you for your attention.