Amnesty International today calls on the EU to step up its financial and legal support for the fight against trafficking in women, following the release of a new Amnesty report detailing the suffering of women who are trafficked and forced into prostitution in Kosovo.
The report underlines that members of the international community working in Kosovo constitute 20% of those using the services of trafficked women and girls.
"Kosovo: So does that mean I have rights? - Protecting the human rights of women and girls trafficked for forced prostitution in Kosovo" is available, link at end of page.
Since the deployment in 1999 of an international peacekeeping force (KFOR) and the establishment of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Kosovo has become a major destination country for women and girls trafficked into forced prostitution.
The report says women are trafficked into Kosovo predominantly from Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine, the majority of them via Serbia. At the same time, increasing numbers of local women and girls are being internally trafficked, and trafficked out of Kosovo.
"Given the EU's strategic importance in Kosovo, with more than 36,000 soldiers from EU countries serving in KFOR, Amnesty International calls on the EU to do more, both financial and legally, to help fight the deplorable practice of trafficking in women and girls, which is occurring right on the doorsteps of the EU," Dick Oosting, Director of Amnesty International's EU Office said.
"Women and girls are being trafficked out of Kosovo into EU countries including Italy, the Netherlands and the UK. More needs to be done at EU level to prevent trafficking, as well as protect the victims, whose rights are frequently left unprotected by the law," he said.
In the light of today's report, Amnesty International calls on the EU and its Member States to take the necessary steps to:
- Prevent trafficking by working within the framework of existing partnerships between the EU and source countries to assist their governments to address the root causes of trafficking;
- Actively develop the EU legislative process in this field and implement all specific items relating to the protection of the rights of the victims of trafficking, including in particular the rights of trafficked women and girls, as contained in the Brussels Declaration of September 2002;
- Protect the victims by ensuring that national legislative and administrative frameworks in Europe accord the widest protection of the rights of trafficked women and girls, in accordance with international legal standards, including in particular human rights and refugee law.
Report - "Kosovo: So does that mean I have rights? - Protecting the human rights of women and girls trafficked for forced prostitution in Kosovo":
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Amnesty International EU Office (Brussels):