The current situation of 8,000 asylum seekers and migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina was at the center of a series of virtual meetings, ahead of an on-site visit by Valiant Richey, OSCE Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, and Margareta Cederfelt, OSCE N of the Parliamentary Assembly / Chairman of the Temporary Committee on Migration, the OSCE Mission states in a press release.
Richey and Cederfelt met with National Anti-Trafficking Coordinator Samir Rizvo, Chief Prosecutor Gordana Tadic, members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and representatives of international organizations and local NGOs.
“Whenever vulnerable people are left in dangerous conditions, the risk of trafficking increases. “Identifying and protecting victims of trafficking is a legal obligation and a humanitarian duty,” said Special Representative Richey. “We need to build a system that will provide meaningful assistance to anyone who is entitled to it and that will help dismantle criminal networks that benefit from the exploitation of people.”
State Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings Samir Rizvo said the next visit of the OSCE delegation is on time. “Identifying victims in migration flows is a transnational problem that requires a broader solution.”
Kathleen Kavalec, Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH, said the Mission constantly monitors the situation at the local level. “We are working with national and international partners to strengthen the institutional framework for preventing the exploitation of persons on the move. This includes assistance through systems to improve the identification of victims of trafficking in mixed migration flows. “
Vice President Cederfelt spoke about the many challenges associated with irregular migration, which need to be addressed in a coherent, sustainable and humane way. “This includes the valuable contribution of international and non-governmental organizations of active assistance in the field. Civil society actors can play a key role in ensuring effective independent monitoring mechanisms to protect the rights of migrants and asylum seekers, as well as providing vital assistance to victims of trafficking and other migrants in sensitive situations. “
Cederfelt also called for strengthening international co-operation to dismantle international trafficking networks and to pay special attention to unaccompanied juveniles on the move who are at particular risk of trafficking and other forms of exploitation.
“Combating trafficking starts with identifying and protecting victims and other vulnerable people,” said Special Representative Richey. “This means, for example, screening all migrants to detect signs of exploitation, promoting the economic empowerment of women as a means of both preventing trafficking and facilitating the recovery process, and providing education for migrant and unaccompanied minors. “
Upcoming Special Representative Richey will provide an opportunity to personally assess the situation on the ground and to support the offer to support local authorities.