PAM MPs: More focus on human rights and protection of civilians in 2016

PAM MPs: More focus on human rights and protection of civilians in 2016
Senator Francesco Amoruso (Italy) and Hon. Florin Urcan (Romania) addressed, on behalf of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), the 16th High Level Alliance against Trafficking in Persons Conference, organised by the OSCE, in Vienna, on 11-12 April 2016. The event was dedicated to “Combating trafficking in human beings for the purpose of forced criminality”. The PAM delegation included also the PAM Permanent Observer to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Vienna, Amb. Peter Schatzer, 
The Alliance conference was attended by representatives of the 57 OSCE participating States and 11 Partners for Co-operation, major international organizations and NGOs, which are partners in the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons, as well as of academia, civil society, the media, trade unions, and think-tanks.
The objective of the high-level event was to address a complex and increasingly widespread form of trafficking in human beings. By discussing human trafficking for forced criminality, the conference drew attention to the social and legal implications of this form of exploitation, the wide range of criminal activities that it entails, the national and international challenges related to the prosecution of the crime, as well as victims’ rights and assistance. A special focus was given to children, as they are one of the most vulnerable groups that are targeted and forced to commit criminal activities. This year’s event aimed to enhance the coherence of international efforts and develop recommendations to respond to trafficking in human beings in a more comprehensive and expert manner that is respectful of human rights.
Sen. Amoruso told the conference PAM believes that an efficient strategy to fight human trafficking must include a multidisciplinary approach for the prevention and protection of human rights of the victims and the prosecution of traffickers, who are often linked by silent collusion due to the restrictive EU rules on legal migration. At the same time, it is becoming more urgent the need to harmonise national legislations and to guarantee these laws are applied in a uniform and efficient way in all countries.
Hon. Urcan recalled, in his statement, the commitment by PAM since its origins in the promotion and protection of human rights. He also emphasised the importance of the collaboration with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, with whom, last year, PAM organised a training programme for its parliamentarians on human rights in crisis situations.   
Hon. Urcan concluded that, in autumn, PAM and the European Court of Human Rights will organise a training session to familiarise PAM MPs also with the European human rights protection system, with particular reference to assistance to and protection of civilians, and counter-terrorism. //
issued on 11.04.2016
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