U.S. Lauds Release of Handbook on Combating Forced Domestic Servitude

PRESS RELEASE | November 4, 2014

Today, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the OSCE Ambassador Daniel Baer joined Ambassador Madina Jarbussynova, OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Ambassador Thomas Greminger, Representative of the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the OSCE, the United Nations and the International Organizations in the launch of a new handbook aimed at combatting the forced domestic servitude of human beings in diplomatic households. The handbook targets diplomatic missions and will serve as a reference in the prevention of human trafficking, particularly of those persons in the domestic service for diplomatic households.

“In the United States, we have seen cases of abuse against domestic servants in the past, and we are taking steps to make sure domestic workers accompanying diplomatic personnel to the United States understand their rights,” explained Ambassador Baer. “This handbook will serve as a living document to be updated with new information and practices from all OSCE participating and partner States for current and future use.”

The United States applauds the leadership of the Office of the Special Representative and Coordinator for Trafficking in Human Beings (OSR) for convening the Fourteenth Alliance against Trafficking in Persons conference and its leadership in its focus on involuntary domestic servitude. Unfortunately, the practice of involuntary domestic servitude is one that holds men, women, and children around the world in modern slavery even today. Whether or not domestic workers are across borders, miles from their loved ones or trapped against their will only miles from their home, involuntary domestic servitude is a crime that leaves people isolated, helpless and hopeless.

“At the national, regional and intra-regional level, a true collaboration among all stakeholders is essential to finding new solutions to address the problem of trafficking in human beings,” stated Ambassador Baer.  “Through the participation of the OSCE community, the creation and launch of this handbook is just one way that we can work together to seek further progress in combatting this problem.”

For further information please contact:
U.S. Mission to the OSCE
Kathy Eagen, Public Affairs Counselor

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