Vienna, 17 October 2011 – “Human Trafficking is a violation of the most fundamental human rights. And yet it is a crime committed in many countries of the world. According to UNO statistics, 2.4 million people per year – mainly women and girls – fall victim to this modern form of slavery”, Waldner said opening the conference “Joining Forces Against Human Trafficking”. The conference has been organized by the Foreign Ministry to mark the European Day Against Human Trafficking tomorrow.
“Today’s event underlines the firm intention of the Austrian Government to take concrete action to fight this violation of human rights”, the State Secretary said. Currently, the third National Action Plan of Fighting Human Trafficking for the period 2012-2014 is being negotiated, he said. The national Task Force Human Trafficking managed by the Foreign Ministry plays a central role as a liaison hub between ministries, countries and NGOs.
Austria avails itself of a series of measures to combat human trafficking, with a clear focus on prevention, protection of victims, criminal prosecution, as well as regional, national and international coordination and cooperation. The main objectives are to improve the protection of victims, primarily women and children, to catch the perpetrators and to fight the underlying structures of organised crime.
“Human traffickers operate in the shadows. With today’s conference we want to draw the attention of the Austrian people to this detestable crime”, Waldner said. On the occasion of the event, the exhibition “Human Trafficking – 21st Century Slavery” organized by the Foreign Ministry will be shown.
Fighting the trafficking of children is also one of the core areas of work during Austria’s membership in the UN Human Rights Council. Together with other states, Austria aims to launch initiatives to protect children from exploitation and slavery.
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