An international seminar was held in Budapest on “Strengthening the cooperation in combating human trafficking in South-eastern Europe” on 17-18 March 2011. Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, the Ambassador of the United States in Budapest, Peter Widermann, the Director General of ICMPD, and Maria Grazia Giammarinaro the special representative of OSCI held a press conference in the Ministry of Interior on the results of the seminar.

Representatives of more than hundred local governments, NGOs, and international organisations came from South-eastern Europe and from the EU to discuss the results of a recently accomplished research on the current mechanism of the operation of international human smuggling. Experts in combating human trafficking and specialists from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Romania, and Serbia collaborated to develop more productive and more efficient procedures for the international cooperation, and to find the adequate strategic and operative solutions to the altering trends of human trafficking.

The research sums up the achieved results of the first phase of the 18-month programme led by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), and financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

photo: Ernő Horváth

The aim of the project set on the research’s results is to improve the cooperation between countries of origin, transit countries, and target countries. The project also offers different instruments, procedures, overall and efficient protection to the victims of human trafficking, first of all to children, and in growing proportion to those, whose workforce had been exploited.

On behalf of the Ministry of Interior, the co-host of the international seminar due to the Hungarian EU Presidency, Krisztina Berta dr., the Deputy State Secretary for EU and international relations, opened the meeting.

The expected results of the seminar is that the partnership among the parties combating human trafficking would fortify, their commitment to deepen the international cooperation by coordinating their approach to the phenomenon would become firmer, and the human trafficking victims’ rights would also strengthen in certain countries.