Ferrero-Waldner calls for close cooperation in the fight against trafficking in human beings
Sarajevo, 23 June 2004 - On the occasion of her visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner said that international trafficking in human beings, and above all trafficking in women and girls, had become one of the " worst effects of cross-border organised crime: We must join forces in fighting this horrible type of crime. Austria is a country of transit and destination for trafficking in girls and women from Eastern Europe, notably from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Therefore close bilateral cooperation is an absolute necessity."
Ferrero-Waldner expressed her satisfaction that a seminar aimed at creating awareness of the specific circumstances of trafficking in human beings organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior in cooperation with the Stability Pact for South East Europe had been held last year and that experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina had taken part in this seminar. Moreover, the Foreign Minister underlined the efforts her own ministry has been investing in this issue: "I have given instructions to a number of embassies to issue pertinent information to potentially endangered visa applicants to inform them of the dangers that exist in this respect," Ferrero-Waldner said.
Last but not least, the Foreign Minister expressed her hope that the action plan against trafficking in human beings recently adopted in Bosnia and Herzegovina and recent amendments to the country’s criminal law would contribute to improving the protection of potential victims and facilitate the prosecution of the criminals.
For pictures of the visit please call up the homepage of the Austrian Foreign Ministry at (www.aussenministerium.at) under "News/Photos".