PAM MPs at OSCE Human Trafficking Conference in Vienna

PAM MPs at OSCE Human Trafficking Conference in Vienna

Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) MPs, Hon. Bilal Kasem (Palestine) and Hon. Natahalie Amoratti Blanc (Principality of Monaco) and Amb. Peter Schatzer, PAM Permanent Observer to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna, participated at the 15th Alliance Against Trafficking In Persons Conference - “People at risk: combating human trafficking along migration routes”, organized by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), in Vienna, on 6 – 7 July 2015.

The aim of the event was to further enhance the coherence of international efforts when addressing human trafficking in the context of migration processes through an open exchange of best practices and lessons learned. In particular, the conference drew the attention to the impact of state migration policies on trafficking in human beings, increasing risks of being trafficked during times of crisis, and the special vulnerability of unaccompanied minors on the move.

Hon. Bilal recalled that PAM has dedicated a special parliamentary session in April 2013, hosted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, where topics such as ‘Human Trafficking and Modern day Slavery’, ‘the consequences of displacement on Women and children in conflicts – protection and assistance’; and ‘PAM’s engagement in Human Rights’ were thoroughly discussed among Mediterranean MPs, UN representatives and partner organizations, such as the Red Crescent.

PAM also contributed at the International Panel on ‘Women Victims of War’ held in Gaziantep, also in Turkey, in November 2014, where the Assembly highlighted the unacceptable conditions that women face under the control of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, that subjects kidnapped women, from ethnic and religious minority populations, to modern day slavery, and warned that in some of these areas, human rights, and especially women’s rights basically ceased to exist.

On behalf of Hon. Amoratti Blanc, Amb. Schatzer referred to the recent PAM’s meeting hosted by the Parliament of the Kingdom of Morocco, dedicated to ‘Extremism, terrorism, and the tragedies of illegal immigration in the Mediterranean: what policies to cope with these renewed challenges’.

On that occasison, together with PAM partners from UN Counter Terrorism Services, UNHCR, the International Organization for Migrations, Frontex, the Italian Navy, the focus of the discussion was on a series of topics pertaining to migration such as: security, the economic impact, human trafficking and the protection of human rights, offering a number of qualified suggestions for the work of our Assembly in this field.

Reference was also made to the event jointly organised on 18-19 June, by PAM and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. This was an ‘Induction Seminar’ which served as the first training course for PAM MPs on human rights and rapid deployment. The seminar paved the way to a more substantive and structured contribution by PAM to the work of the UN in promotion and safeguarding human rights, through regularly participating at the Human Rights Council meetings, and carrying out joint field missions to conflict zones.

Both PAM speakers underscored the commitment of PAM to establish a partnership with the OSCE and work together, as in the case of the UN System, through PAM’s unique parliamentary network, to achieve respect for human rights, ease the suffering of civilians in regional conflicts, strengthen the rule of law, and consolidate more coordinated efforts to fight against human trafficking, while assisting the most vulnerable members of society in areas of conflict//

issued on 08.07.2015

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