Vienna, 10 February 2014 Press release

Media advisory: Joint Council of Europe – OSCE high-level conference on combating human trafficking, 17-18 February at Hofburg, Vienna

Vienna, 10 February 2014 – The OSCE and the Council of Europe, together with the Austrian Chairmanship of the Council of Europe and the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship, will hold a high-level conference focusing on challenges in the implementation of the CoE Convention on Action against Human Trafficking and the OSCE Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings.

A number of key European officials will speak at the event:
·         Sebastian Kurz, Minister of European and International Affairs, Austria;
·         Johanna Mikl-Leitner, Minister of the Interior, Austria;
·         Simonetta Sommaruga, Federal Councillor, Head of the Federal Department of
         Justice and Police, Swiss Confederation;
·         Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the CoE;
·         Lamberto Zannier, Secretary General of the OSCE;
·         Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for
         Combating Trafficking in Human Beings;
·         Myria Vassiliadou, EU Anti-Trafficking Co-ordinator;
·         Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.

By the time of the conference, the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA, monitoring mechanism) will have evaluated the anti-trafficking action of almost 30 European countries, including Austria. One aim of the two-day event is to take stock of the progress made so far and to discuss the challenges in the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Human Trafficking. The conference will also provide an opportunity for an exchange of practices and tools developed on the basis of the OSCE Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings and on how legally binding standards, monitoring mechanisms and political strategies can mutually reinforce each other and lead to effective action to counter trafficking in human beings.

The event will explore ways to enhance partnerships and co-operation between international organizations, civil society, governments and other significant actors in the struggle against modern-day slavery.

A webstream of the opening and closing sessions will be available on the conference website:

Follow the conference on Twitter @osce using hashtag #not4sale

The conference is open to media. In addition, members of the press are invited to attend a press conference with the first five speakers listed above at 11.00 in the Hofburg on 17 February 2014. Journalists are also kindly asked to submit requests for individual interviews with the conference speakers in advance (see contact details below).

Following the press conference, Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga and other high level speakers will walk through the human trafficking exhibition located in the OSCE conference venue. The exhibition consists of an array of photographs, definitions, facts and statistics highlighting the diversity of exploitation as experienced around the world.

Journalists who wish to attend are kindly asked to register with the Press Department of the Austrian Ministry of European and International Affairs by Thursday, 13 February 2014, including their first name, surname, media and country to: pk-anmeldungen(at)

The accreditation desk is located at the OSCE Hofburg entrance, on the 1st floor, Segmentgalerie. Badges will be handed over to registered journalists upon presentation of a press pass.

The accreditation desk will be open
on Monday, 17 February, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
on Tuesday, 18 February, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Media accreditation/registration & inquiries:
Austrian Ministry of European and International Affairs; Press Department
Helene Spitzer; +43 (0)1-50 11 50–3395, helene.spitzer(at)

Austrian Ministry of European and International Affairs; Spokesperson of the Minister
Etienne Berchtold, +43 (0)1-50 11 50-3385,etienne.berchtold(at)

Austrian Ministry of Interior, Spokesperson of the Minister,
Andreas Wallner, +43 (0)1-53126-2027, andreas.wallner(at)