Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe supports co-operation among NGOs to protect Roma communities from human trafficking
Friday, September 22, 2006 9:55 AM

TIRANA 18 September - Preventing human trafficking in Roma communities is the focus of a three-day OSCE-organized meeting that began today in Tirana.

The meeting organized by the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Presence in Albania, aims to promote partnerships between anti-trafficking and Roma non-governmental organizations to better fight the increasing phenomenon of trafficking in Roma across Europe.

"Roma are often stereotyped as being traffickers and not victims of trafficking, even within organizations dealing with trafficking issues. This meeting aims to break down such prejudices and to raise awareness of trafficking within Roma communities," said Shivaun Scanlan, Senior Adviser on Anti-Trafficking to the ODIHR.

The three-day meeting attracted more than 60 participants from countries including France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Albania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia.

"I hope the regional expert meeting will help involve Roma and their organizations more closely in combating trafficking in human beings within their own communities," said Ambassador Pavel Vacek, head of the Presence. "The OSCE Presence in Albania will continue to support the national efforts against human trafficking with a focus on Roma as a particularly vulnerable group."

Published in: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Press-Release,, accessed 22 September 2006.