Joint Interpretative Statement on Decision to Strengthen Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in Human Beings

Joint Interpretative Statement on the Decision to Strengthen Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in Human Beings

24th Ministerial Council, Vienna
Delivered by the delegation of Canada
Closing Session
8 December 2017

Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.

In connection with the adoption of the decision, Canada, also on behalf of the United States, would like to make the following interpretative statement under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure.

The United States and Canada strongly support this decision. Human trafficking is one of the most egregious crimes of our time, which robs human beings of their freedom and their dignity. We must all unite to end the scourge of human trafficking.

We believe it is a priority to ensure that the rights of victims are protected, that they are not re-traumatized or endangered, and that their privacy and dignity is respected.

In this decision, we recognize the important contribution that media can make in preventing human trafficking.

It is therefore in this particular context that we accepted the wording concerning media. We do not view “responsibly” used in this context as reflecting any intention of participating States to direct or dictate journalistic or editorial content, and our acceptance of the word “responsibly” in this context does not create a precedent for its use in another context, and certainly not in the overall context of the media.

We reiterate our unwavering support for freedom of expression and independence of the media.

I request that this interpretative statement be attached to the decision and to the journal of the day.

Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.