Struggle Against Human Trafficking

According to the Congressional Research Service and the US State Department–700,000 to 2 million people–the majority of them women and children–are trafficked each year across international borders. Thirty-five percent are under the age of 18. Trafficking in people represents the third-largest source of profits for organized crime after drugs and guns–generating billions of dollars each year.
Population Today


IOANNINA–Greece (OSCE/ARS)–"Slaves of the 21st Century." That is how Marcin Swiecicki–Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities–described victims of the trafficking of human beings for cheap labor and for the sex industry at the start of a two-day OSCE seminar in Greece held in Mid February.

The event in the Greek town of Ioannina was dedicated to the economic impact of trafficking in human beings and is the second of three preparatory seminars leading up to the 11th OSCE Economic Forum to be held in May.

Representing the Armenian Relief Society–Liza Avakian and Eva Berberian participated in the seminar in light of the importance of the issue. They were able to closely review its causes and potential damaging effects on nations both economically and psychologically.

"Trafficking not only causes human misery–it also devastates economies and puts intolerable pressure on political systems. The growing role of criminal networks is extremely worrying," said Frank Majoor–Secretary-General of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs–representing the OSCE Chairmanship.

Participants made recommendations for international and national co-operation to deal with this scourge for the OSCE Economic Forum–which will take place in Prague from 20 to 23 May–as well as for the OSCE-wide Action Plan to combat trafficking in human beings.


An Armenian delegation participated in an international forum on human trafficking organized through the initiative of the US State Department on February 23-26 in Washington DC High-ranking officials representing more than 130 countries participated

The following issues were brought up within the framework of the forum:

– Strategies employed by governmen’s in the context of countering human trafficking

– Organization of mutual struggle against organized crime

– Provisional methods of regional cooperation

– Role of mass media and role and input of international organization in the struggle against human trafficking

– Presence of efficient legislation

– Psychological rehabilitation of women and children victims of human trafficking; International cooperation and implementation of potential agreemen’s.

Colombia’s Prime Minister–Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister–US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage–US Attorney General John Ashcroft presented speeches at the forum.

The RAE inter-departmental commission head–Ministry of Foreign Affairs international organizations department head Ashot Kocharian–presented Armenia’s initiatives: raising awareness–legislative reforms–activities of national program–activities undertaken to rehabilitate victims. The importance of close cooperation with international organizations working in Armenia–namely the US Embassy in Armenia was underscored.

The Armenian delegation held meetings with US Department of State officials within the framework of the forum. The parties expressed hope that steps undertaken by the RAE government would enable Armenia to receive most favored nation status.


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