Doc. 8405
6 May 1999

Campaign against trafficking in women

Motion for a recommendation

presented by Mrs Pozza Tasca and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only

the members who have signed it

1.       Noting that the resolution adopted by the European Parliament on 18 January 1996 defined trafficking in human beings as “the illegal action of someone who, directly or indirectly, encourages a citizen from a third country to enter or stay in another country in order to exploit that person by using deceit or any other form of coercion or by abusing that person’s vulnerable situation or administrative status”;

2.       Considering that the Vienna Conference on Trafficking in Women held on 10 and 11 June 1996 by the European Commission and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) emphatically underlined the scale of the problem, the need for countries to combine their efforts to combat it and the importance of action to help the victims;

3.       Considering that Recommendation 1325 (1997) on traffic in women and forced prostitution in Council of Europe member states, which was adopted on 23 April 1997, stated that trafficking in women was a flagrant violation of human rights and should be regarded, from the regulatory point of view, as being akin to slavery, and called on the Committee of Ministers to draft a convention to suppress such trafficking through harsher penalties, international co-ordination of policing and the harmonisation of legislation;

4.       Considering that the Rome Diplomatic Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court declared enslavement, in particular of women and children in the context of international trafficking in human beings, to be a crime against humanity under the terms of Article 7, para 2, of the Court’s Statute;

5.       Awaiting the elaboration of an action plan by the Multisectoral Group on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation (EG-S-TS) set up by the Committee of Ministers in response to Recommendation 1325 (Doc. 8246);

6.       Noting that the specific and common feature of such trafficking is the inability of the victims freely to plan and organise their migration, which leads to their enslavement;

7.       Believing that trafficking in immigrant women condemns them to a state of exploitation and slavery and that the Council of Europe has a moral duty to defend the victims and restore their human dignity,

      The Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers launch a campaign in the member states against such enslavement of women, involving:

      i. the promotion of active co-operation among Council of Europe member states with a view to continuous and co-ordinated efforts to prevent and combat trafficking in women and to supervising the implementation of related policies;

      ii. support and co-operation among the member states in research into policies to prevent such trafficking, the aim being to ensure comparability of data at European and international level;

      iii. monitoring of the measures adopted at national level to define the nature of the crime, lay down penalties and administrative measures and introduce the powers and investigative techniques needed for effectively prosecuting those responsible;

      iv. harmonisation of national legislation;

      v. steps to ensure that the information and training programmes of the bodies responsible for combating trafficking in women, namely government ministries, police forces, judicial authorities, bodies responsible for issuing visas and all other public bodies with responsibilities in this area in the various countries, take due account of the particular situation and requirements of the victims;

      vi. preventive measures in the victims’ countries of origin and the countries of destination, the aim being to define the opportunities, restrictions and rights that apply in the event of immigration.

      The Assembly also calls on the governments of member states:

      i. to give full support to the campaign against this form of slavery by allocating sufficient financial resources to it and setting up national committees to prevent trafficking and support the victims;

      ii. to make “trafficking in human beings”, defined as a violation of human rights akin to slavery, a crime under their national legislation and to introduce appropriate preventive measures and penalties for those responsible for such trafficking;

      iii. to organise national days against trafficking in women and girls on 8 March 2000 so that a common plan for eradicating this new form of slavery can be put in place in the forty member states in the year 2000;

      iv. to promote, through bilateral agreements, improvements in the social, economic and legal position of the women concerned in their countries of origin by offering support to the government agencies and NGOs involved in empowerment activities for women;

      v. to contribute on an ongoing basis to the work of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) by notifying it of the measures they have taken, including those concerning application of Article 6 of the CEDAW convention, and of any obstacles encountered in efforts to combat trafficking in women and to assist the victims.

Signed : 1

Pozza Tasca, Italy, LDR

Calleja, Spain, SOC

Dayanıklı, Turkey, SOC

Etherington, United Kingdom, SOC

Karlsson, Austria, SOC

Kulbaka, Russia, UEL

Neuwirth, France, EDG

Poptodorova, Bulgaria, SOC

Pulgar, Spain, EPP/CD

Stanoiu, Romania, SOC


1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group