A round-table discussion was organized by the OSCE in cooperation with members of the ECPAT network to provide inputs on the role of civil society when it comes to combat human trafficking and advocacy for improved protection of child victims of this crime. The meeting took place on the 17thof May 2019 in Vienna. The discussion aimed at further developing and promoting the dispositions of the Office of the OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings presented in its most recent paper.
At the round-table, stakeholders agreed on the fact that child trafficking and child protection should not and cannot be considered separately. Child protection systems should walk side by side with the work on prevention of child trafficking, as well as bringing the important component of child participation in their decision-making processes. The discussions were also focused on updating the ODIHR National Referral Mechanisms handbook in order to provide standardized guidelines concerning trafficked children.
According to Robbert van den Berg, Executive Director of ECPAT International, “it is very encouraging to see the commitment of the OSCE to pro-actively engage civil society organizations in its efforts to address the sexual exploitation of children in all the 57 participating States”.