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

As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
May 31, 2012

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 advancing an effective strategy to combat modern slavery.  Her vision, focus, and execution of this strategy distinguish the OSCE from others in the effort to counter trafficking in persons.  Delivering on her mandate for coordination, she works cohesively across the OSCE to develop strong partnerships.  We continue to be impressed by the achievements of Dr. Giammarinaro and her small but talented staff.

We commend Dr. Giammarinaro’s efforts to shine the light into the dark corners of the different forms of human trafficking, critical given the hidden and complex nature of the crime.  Subsequent evidence based research facilitates a more sound understanding of a particular form of trafficking, along with the indicators of its prevalence and scope.  This information should guide our priorities; an effective focus is particularly critical given the strain on our resources.

We echo Dr. Giammarinaro’s message about the importance of political will.  Since the inception of the Palermo Protocol, many participating States have made progress over the last decade on anti-trafficking efforts.  But we cannot risk complacency.  In the United States, Secretary Clinton has charged us to continue the fight against modern slavery in this ‘Decade of Delivery.’

The recent Human Dimension Seminar on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings focused successfully on the ongoing process of implementation.  An engaging dialogue occurred as participating States like the Russian Federation, Uzbekistan, the United Kingdom, and Ireland quickly mobilized to bring experts.  However, we deeply regret that experts from countries like Tajikistan had been eager to come, but were unable to do so because of the long negotiations we had on the schedule of Human Dimension events.  This underscores the urgency in improving our process for deciding and agreeing upon annual events.

We encourage participating States to take advantage of Dr. Giammarinaro’s innovative OSCE opportunities this year, including the first regional seminars on domestic servitude in diplomatic households as well as the Alliance in Trafficking event on discrimination.  We urge participating States to take action and consider ratifying the groundbreaking International Labor Organization Convention 189, and the Convention’s Recommendation 201 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers in 2012.  Finally, we reiterate our expectation that the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting will include a productive dialogue about our challenges in combating modern day slavery.  To that end, we encourage states to consider the recommendations of the U.S. Department of State’s 2012 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, scheduled to be released next month.

In closing, let me thank Dr. Giammarinaro for her comprehensive report and for her strong efforts to combat the scourge of human trafficking.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.