OSCE Special Representative praises Turkey’s government for improving legal protection for human trafficking victims

By SSharma

ISTANBUL, Turkey, 13 May 2016 – Concluding a one-week official visit to Turkey today, OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Madina Jarbussynova, commended recent changes to the legislative framework that will improve victim protection and identification.

“It is important to identify victims of human trafficking and protect them against re-trafficking and other abuses,” the Special Representative said. “Turkey has amended its regulations so that it fully complies with guidelines from the Council of Europe.”

This was her first official visit to Turkey, during which she met with representatives from the government as well as non-governmental and international organizations. Ambassador Jarbussynova met with high-level officials from the Court of Cassation, Department of Consular Affairs, the Directorate for Human Smuggling and Human Trafficking with the National Police, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Turkey is a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking. It is also at the centre of the ongoing migration crisis, with large numbers of refugees from Syria and elsewhere currently in the country. The Special Representative visited a refugee centre in Gazantep, as well as shelters for human trafficking victims in Istanbul and Kirikkale.

“Large numbers of people on the move continue to arrive in Turkey, and local officials must be lauded for their extraordinary efforts to provide them with food and shelter,” Ambassador Jarbussynova said. “We must do all we can to ensure that they do not fall into the hands of human traffickers.”

The Special Representative conducts a series of country visits every year in order to share knowledge and good practices in the fight against human trafficking and to make tailor-made recommendations to the countries visited. The OSCE works together with participating States to eliminate human trafficking in all its forms.

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