Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, in Response to the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings at the 978th Meeting of the Permanent Council

Tacan İLDEM 19.12.2013
Thank you Mr. Chairperson.

I would like to join the previous speakers in warmly welcoming the OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Dr. Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, back to the Permanent Council. I also thank her for her comprehensive and informative annual report that she has presented today.

10 years after the adoption of the OSCE Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, which propelled our Organization to the forefront of the fight against human trafficking particularly at the regional level, this crime still remains a serious threat to our comprehensive security despite all the measures already taken against it. Its eradication continues to be our common goal. Thanks to the timely prioritization of the Ukrainian Chairmanship, 2013 was a particularly busy and successful year with regard to activities in this field, as also highlighted by the Special Representative in her report.

The Seminar on Cooperation to Prevent Trafficking in Human Beings in the Mediterranean Region organized in Rome last February by the Office of the Special Representative, the Chairmanship’s High-Level Conference on Strengthening the OSCE Response to Trafficking in Human Beings held in Kyiv in June, as well as the 13th Alliance against Trafficking in Persons Conference organized here in Vienna in the same month, all provided valuable insights on how best to further develop and update the 2003 Action Plan. Now, upon the Chairmanship’s initiative, with the valuable technical support of the Office of the Special Representative and the constructive engagement of the participating States, we have been able to adopt and endorse the Addendum to the 2003 Action Plan at the Kiev Ministerial Council. This provides us with an updated toolkit for combating all forms of trafficking in human beings, which we should all put to good use.

My country attaches importance to the fight against human trafficking, always bearing in mind that it is not only a transnational threat but also a grave human rights violation. Our National Task Force for Combating Human Trafficking established in 2002 has been instrumental in the drafting and implementation of two consecutive National Action Plans. In addition to our bilateral cooperation with a number of countries, we also participate in and support activities not only of the OSCE but also of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the European Union in this field. Currently we are in the final stages of preparing a single, comprehensive framework law on combating human trafficking and the protection of its victims, in line with the Palermo Protocol and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. Civil society and academia are also highly involved in this drafting process.

We highly value the efforts of the Special Representative and believe that all participating States should actively support her in the discharge of her mandate. In concluding, since this is her last report to the Permanent Council, I take this opportunity to thank Ms. Giammarinaro for the excellent work she has done in the past four years. During her tenure she has succeeded, together with her able team, in further enhancing the OSCE’s pioneering role in combating the modern-day slavery that is human trafficking.

We wish her our best in her future endeavors.

Thank you.