Response to OSCE Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Gary Robbins
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
May 16, 2013

The United States warmly welcomes back Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings Maria Grazia Giammarinaro to the Permanent Council today.  We applaud Dr. Giammarinaro for her tireless efforts to combat modern-day slavery in the OSCE region.

Her endeavors to raise awareness about the challenges in the anti-trafficking movement serve as a call to action for OSCE participating States.  We agree with the Special Representative that working for social and global justice is critical to preventing and eradicating this crime.

We support her calls to consider the instances of human trafficking in the contexts of labor migration as well as commercial sexual exploitation, and to consider how discrimination and social exclusion affect the risk factors and victim identification for members of vulnerable groups such as migrants, children on the move, and persons belonging to minorities such as Roma and Sinti.  Recognition of these issues is critical to our efforts to provide effective victims’ assistance and to punish the traffickers.

We also appreciate the Special Representative’s coordination with relevant organizations in the international fora.  These strong partnerships are critical to advancing the OSCE’s specific contributions and leveraging our resources in the fight against human trafficking.  Consequently, we look forward to this year’s Alliance against Trafficking in Persons conference which will address the economic, social, and political costs of human trafficking.  Such annual events, which focus on groundbreaking themes in the field of combatting trafficking in human beings, lay the foundations for future cross-dimensional work at the OSCE.

In the three years since the Alliance’s Conference on domestic servitude, the Special Representative has continued to engage OSCE participating States on the issue of domestic servitude, through activities including a series of regional trainings on domestic workers in diplomatic households.  The United States sent a delegation to the inaugural workshop last year, which was a formative gathering of diplomatic protocol chiefs tackling a particular area of trafficking.  We commend the Ukrainian Chairmanship and the Special Representative for coordinating the regional training to occur immediately after the Chairmanship event in Kyiv, which will facilitate participation by participating States.

The Ukrainian Chairmanship’s focus on combatting trafficking in human beings serves as an important opportunity for participating States and the OSCE to take stock of our efforts.  The upcoming Chairmanship Conference should deepen the dialogue on how the OSCE can strengthen its efforts to combat trafficking in human beings.  It will be imperative for the United States that any new commitments reflect the OSCE’s cross-dimensional approach to fighting modern day slavery.  To ensure a successful outcome, we urge the Ukrainian Chairmanship to initiate work on the anticipated addendum to the Trafficking Action Plan and we look forward to the Special Representative’s insight on specific areas that require particular attention.

In closing, we wish Dr. Giammarinaro all the best in her endeavors and she can count on our continued support.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.