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Transnational Crime

Resolutions on Organized Crime, Trafficking Adopted

The Paris Declaration of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

The Parliamentary Assembly of the tenth annual session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) adopted two resolutions July 10 addressing international crime issues in the 55-nation region. The resolutions are each individual sections of a wide-ranging declaration to emerge from the session.

U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a Republican from Colorado and chairman of the U.S. delegation to the OSCE, proposed a resolution on combating corruption and international crime. "Widespread corruption is a threat to the stability and security of societies," Campbell said in a statement issued upon the resolution's passage. "International crime and corruption undermines democracy and jeopardizes social, political, and economic development. It hinders economic development, inflates the costs of doing business, and undermines the legitimacy of the government and public trust."

U.S. Representative Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey and co-chair of the U.S. delegation, submitted the resolution on human trafficking. He is also the principal author of the U.S. "Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000."

Paris, 10 July 2001

Resolution on Combating Corruption
and International Crime in the OSCE Region

1. Recognizing that widespread corruption endangers the stability and security of societies, undermines democracy, and jeopardizes the social, political and economic development of a society;

2. Understanding that corruption facilitates criminal activities, such as money laundering, trafficking in human beings, drugs and weapons, hinders economic development, inflates the costs of doing business, and undermines the legitimacy of the government and public trust;

3. Noting the particularly alarming levels of corruption found in conflict zones ruled by separatist regimes which, requiring for their self-preservation large amounts of money that cannot be obtained by legal means, tend to be financed and backed by organized criminal groups specializing in trafficking in drugs and weapons and kidnapping;

4. Remembering that the Assembly's St. Petersburg Declaration called for ministerial review of practical forms of cooperation to combat corruption and organized crime and efficient cooperation among participating States and with international organizations in this effort;

5. Recalling that the Istanbul Summit recognized that corruption poses a great threat to the OSCE's shared values and that the participating States have pledged to strengthen their efforts to combat corruption;

6. Noting that the Assembly's Bucharest Declaration identified good governance as a precondition for sustainable development and inter-regional cooperation and called upon the OSCE to give appropriate attention to its economic dimension in order to support the development of a transparent and stable legal system in the economic sphere throughout the OSCE area;

7. Welcoming the Report on the OSCE Contributions to International Efforts to Combat Corruption, presented to the 8th OSCE Ministerial Council, which concluded that efforts to address corruption and promote the rule of law should be stepped up across all dimensions of the OSCE;

8. Noting the contribution of the Nantes Parliamentary Conferences on Subregional Economic Cooperation Processes to efforts to combat corruption and organized crime in the OSCE space;

9. Recognizing international efforts to combat corruption undertaken by the OECD, Council of Europe, and the United Nations, and urging continued OSCE cooperation and coordination with these organizations;

10. Commending the Ninth Meeting of the OSCE Economic Forum for its focus on Transparency and Good Governance in Economic Matters and efforts to develop practical ways in which the OSCE participating States and institutions can foster sustainable economic development by implementing good governance practices in both the public and private sectors;

11. Praising the work of the Office of the Coordinator for Economic and Environmental Activities for its work in promoting transparency and good governance, particularly the drafting of the Transparency Action Plan;

12. Commending the work of the OSCE institutions and field missions in enhancing public awareness, coordinating with local, regional, and international organizations, and promoting public/private partnerships in the fight against corruption and organized crime;

13. Recognizing the importance of specialized education in the development of good and effective governance at all levels;

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

14. Urges the OSCE participating States and OSCE institutions to strengthen their efforts to promote transparency and accountability through support for independent and pluralistic media; promoting financial disclosure by public officials, political parties, and candidates for public office; opening budgeting processes with effective internal control systems and suitable financial management systems, and financial and compliance reporting;

15. Supports the establishment of audit offices, inspectors general offices, third party monitoring of government procurement processes, and anti-corruption agencies;

16. Encourages our national parliaments to ensure transparency and openness in the legislative process, including public access to debate and open committee hearings, to establish and enforce parliamentary rules of ethics, ensure effective oversight of government agencies, and provide whistle-blower protection;

17. Supports the strengthening of independent national judiciaries, the criminalization of corruption, and promotion of effective law enforcement agencies that prosecute corruption;

18. Encourages business practices that promote transparent, ethical, and competitive behavior in the private sector through the development of an effective legal framework for commerce, including anti-bribery laws, commercial codes that incorporate international standards for business practices and protection of intellectual property rights;

19. Encourages the development of public administration curricula in universities and cooperation between universities and other educational institutions to that end;

20. Urges the OSCE participating States to continue to promote free and fair national, state, and local elections, foster public participation in the legislative process and public access to government information, and engage civil society in the fight against corruption;

21. Urges all OSCE participating States to take decisive measures for the conduct of free and fair elections in conflict zones subject to the right of the entire population living in the places concerned before the conflict to take part in the elections, as a prerequisite for combating corruption and organized crime;

22. Asks the participating States to consider ratification and implementation of existing anti-corruption related international agreements; 23. Calls upon the OSCE participating States to financially and politically support effective, professional law enforcement agencies in their fight against organized crime;

24. Calls upon the participating States further to intensify cooperation in combating international terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, and arms smuggling;

25. Supports regional cooperation, particularly among law enforcement agencies, in the battle against transborder criminal activities;

26. Urges the 2001 Bucharest Ministerial Council to consider practical means of promoting cooperation among the participating States in combating corruption and international crime.

Resolution on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings

1. Recalling that the 1991 Moscow Document and the 1999 Charter for European Security commit OSCE participating States to seek to end all forms of trafficking in human beings including through appropriate legislation and other measures;

2. Bearing in mind that this Parliamentary Assembly condemned trafficking in human beings in its 1999 St. Petersburg Declaration and 2000 Bucharest Declaration;

3. Welcoming the adoption of the OSCE Ministerial Council Decision of November 2000 on enhancing the OSCE's efforts to combat trafficking in human beings;

4. Noting that the Decision stressed the role of national parliaments in this objective, and underscoring that, pursuant to that Decision, OSCE participating States committed "to take necessary measures, including by adopting and implementing legislation, to criminalize trafficking in human beings, including appropriate penalties, with a view to ensuring effective law enforcement response and prosecution. Such legislation should take into account a human rights approach to the problem of trafficking, and include a provision for the protection of the human rights of victims, ensuring that victims of trafficking do not face prosecution solely because they have been trafficked";

5. Welcoming the adoption in December 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly of two additional protocols to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime regarding the prevention, suppression, and punishment of trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants, appeals to participating States to ratify these texts and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child regarding the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography;

6. Deploring the fact that, despite the increased international attention to the scourge of trafficking in human beings, each year millions of persons around the world continue to be victimized through trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation and other forms of slavery or slavery-like conditions, in violation of their fundamental human rights;

7. Noting that the OSCE region includes source, transit, and destination countries for trafficking operations and that each year many thousands of children, women, and men are trafficked for exploitation in OSCE countries;

8. Stressing the role of national parliaments in the adoption of necessary legislation to combat trafficking in human beings and welcoming Articles 106 and 107 of the Bucharest Declaration of the Parliamentary Assembly regarding trafficking in human beings;

9. Supporting the efforts of the Stability Pact Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings and appealing to participating States to play an active role in this respect;

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

10. Deeply disturbed that despite the repeated commitments to ensure adequate legal prohibitions against trafficking in human beings, existing laws in many OSCE participating States remain inadequate to deter trafficking, to bring traffickers to justice, and to protect their victims;

11. Stresses once again that the parliaments and governments of OSCE participating States must review their domestic laws to ensure that trafficking in human beings is established as a criminal offence and that penalties can be imposed that reflect the grievous nature of the offence while protecting the rights of trafficking victims;

12. Appeals to the governments of the participating States to establish national co-ordination and prosecution structures composed, where applicable, of representatives of the public authorities concerned, parliaments, non-governmental organizations, and associations;

13. Invites governments to become more involved in the training of members of the authorities specializing in combating trafficking in human beings;

14. Undertakes, together with the participating States, to urge non-governmental organizations and associations to heighten public awareness of the causes and consequences of trafficking in human beings, through information campaigns in the media and socio-economic initiatives in order to warn about and combat trafficking in human beings;

15. Encourages the establishment and strengthening of co-operation between participating States in order to harmonize their procedures regarding: the prosecution of the perpetrators of trafficking in human beings; legal, medical, and psychological assistance to victims of trafficking in human beings; information and heightening of public awareness on the causes and consequences of the trafficking in human beings;

16. Welcomes the active commitment of non-governmental and other organizations or associations to combating trafficking in human beings and undertakes to co-operate with them.