OSLO, Norway— An international human rights panel has passed a resolution authored by Representative Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) calling for concerted efforts to combat the demand for human trafficking and also countering the use of the Internet for exploitation of trafficking victims.
“U.S. and some foreign law enforcement agencies are making a sincere effort to track dangerous child sex offenders who travel abroad to commit their crimes, but too often information is not being shared. We need to standardize communications so that we can more effectively protect children around the world,” Congressman Smith said.
Congressman Smith is requesting the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Strategic Police Matters Unit to research methods and assist the OSCE participating States in combating the use of the Internet for child exploitation and to increase international cooperation in tracking the travel of known sex offenders. This is consistent with Congressman Smith’s proposed legislation, International Megan’s Law of 2010 (H.R. 5138), which would require U.S. officials to notify foreign governments when a registered child sex offender is traveling to their country. In addition, the resolution calls on the OSCE Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings to facilitate workshops at all OSCE field missions to combat sex tourism and trafficking in persons.
In the resolution Congressman Smith also encouraged OSCE participating States to work closely with the hotel, airline, and tourism industries to ensure industry awareness, cooperation, and capacity to report suspected trafficking to local authorities. He also worked bilaterally with participating States to promote the anti-trafficking work of Innocents at Risk Airline Ambassadors International, an organization that trains airline personnel on how to recognize human trafficking victims on commercial aircraft and how to report such activity to authorities.
Smith secured passage of the measure in the third day of the meeting for the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) in Oslo, Norway. The resolution will now be considered for inclusion in the Assembly’s final document, the Oslo Declaration, which will help set policy for the OSCE in the year ahead. Parliamentarians from the 56 participating OSCE countries will vote on the Declaration on Saturday.