Public-Private Partnership in the Fight Against Human Trafficking

This acute topic was the cover theme of the High-Level Conference, with took place on 20 and 21 July in the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in Moscow. It was organized jointly by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. The conference purpose was to draw public attention to the problem of Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) and to the necessity of setting ang strengthening partner relations between public and private sectors on the issues of combatting THB and creating a network of cooperation and communities of likeminded people in the OSCE region.

The event gathered around 200 participants from 40 OSCE countries, countries outside of the OSCE region, as well as representatives of international organizations, NGOs, the private sector, academia and the media.

The conference provided participants with an opportunity to discuss relevant international tools and frameworks, the magnitude of human trafficking in the private economy, the roles of government and the private sector in combatting this phenomenon, and also OSCE projects and activities to prevent THB in the private sector. Special attention was given to determining practical tools of addressing the weaknesses and overcoming difficulties in policies undertaken, together with enforcement of the activities planned in the OSCE region and the necessity of raising awareness of OSCE countries on these issues, drafting and presenting to them recommendations on how business can actively participate in preventing human trafficking and combatting it.

Overall, an unquestionable achievement of the conference was a unilateral admittance of an increasing role played by the private sector in solving a THB problem, which is agreed to become a key player in the area, which, in many cases, makes more significant impact than states. The conference participants concluded that successful fight against human trafficking should lean upon partner relations of government and business, with more and more increasing weight of the latter. There was also underlined the necessity to consider existing international experience, and importance of application preventive measures and means on minimization risk of THB.

Association ‘National Global Compact Network’ (UN Global Compact Network in the Russian Federation) fully supports the efforts of a professional community on mobilization of combatting human trafficking. It views the problem through the prism of Sustainable Development Goals and Global Compact Principles, and shares the common position of admitting the necessity of eliminating this problem to ensure maximum efficiency of private sector functioning. To express their support to the mission of the conference, there took part the representatives of the Russian Global Compact Network: Ms. Larisa Ovchinnikova, Chairperson of the Association ‘National Global Compact Network’, Managing Director of the Institutional Development department of Vnesheconombank State Corporation; Ms. Irina Zhukova, Director on Sustainability and Corporate Programs of Philip Morris Sales and Marketing; and Ms. Natalia Gonchar, Head of Social Performance of Sakhalin Energy Investment Company, who presented their companies’ experience in combatting human trafficking. It was notices, that the key stress on the prevention of child labour and on the control of the counterfeit goods proliferation, as far as during its producing illegal workforce is attracted, and human trafficking risks are high. 

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