Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality Committee Chairman Counts on Support of Office for Coordination Against Trafficking in Persons

Meho Omerovic, Chairman of the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality, met with representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, Police HQ and the Office for Coordination against Trafficking in Persons. They met at the initiative of the Committee Chairman for a briefing on the Assembly Committee’s activities in the area in the previous period and to exchange opinions on future activities and support the Office could provide to the Committee.

On the occasion the Committee Chairman reminded the guests of the interparliamentary workshop held at the Committee’s initiative in May and spoke about the future activities concerning regional cooperation through the establishment of an interparliamentary committee or a similar joint body which would tackle human trafficking and related issues at the regional level.

The Office representatives said that the Government had passed a Prevention and Suppression Strategy for human trafficking, especially trafficking in women and children, and witness protection covering the period 2017 – 2020 the work toward the implementation of which has already started through the strengthening of institutional anti-trafficking capacities. The importance of regional cooperation in the fight against human trafficking, at the level of national coordinators, as well as all other levels, has been recognized.

To that end, the Office endorsed the Committee’s efforts to promote cooperation among the parliaments in the Western Balkans and said it was ready to, within its power, support the regional interparliamentary cooperation, and wishes to have the National Assembly, its working bodies and parliamentary delegations take a more active part in the anti-trafficking efforts.

The officials also discussed the fight against human trafficking at the local level and strengthening local anti-trafficking teams, which is an activity set out in the action plan.

Another topic discussed were the future amendments and modifications of the Anti-Discrimination Law and the possible need to have its provisions define slavery and human trafficking as serious forms of discrimination.

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