Trafficking in Human Beings and Terrorism


OSCE Human Trafficking and Terrorism

On 9 July 2021, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) launched a research paper led by Tarana Baghirova and Anne-Lise Cooke-Robin, “Trafficking In Human Beings And Terrorism: Where And How They Intersect," 72 pages (302 references), analyzing intersections between terrorism and trafficking in human beings (aka human trafficking, trafficking in persons, modern slavery) and a number of potential examples of trafficking conducted by terrorist groups. It also shows how existing anti-trafficking instruments can be leveraged to address trafficking practices by terrorist groups, and it provides insights into how to prevent trafficking of vulnerable adults and children targeted by terrorist groups.


“The intersection of trafficking and terrorism is a complex topic raising difficult but important questions around security, human rights, and international law,” said the OSCE Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings Valiant Richey in presenting the research. “The answers are not always black and white and can be uncomfortable at times, but must be addressed by governments if we want to achieve security and protect of human rights.”


The outcome is a set of targeted recommendations to challenge the trafficking practices of terrorist groups by leveraging existing preventative and protective mechanisms in the anti-trafficking field:

  • Preventing trafficking in human beings in the context of terrorism (4 recommendations)

  • Protection of individuals trafficked by terrorist groups (7 recommendations)

  • Prosecution of terrorist groups and individuals for trafficking offences (6 recommendations)

  • Partnerships between different disciplines (5 recommendations)

  • Recommendations related to trafficking of children by terrorist groups (7 recommendations)

The intent of these recommendations is to support participating States in preventing the crime of trafficking by terrorist groups, hold the perpetrators fully accountable and protect victims.


OSCE Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings webpage.




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