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ILO Symposium on

Combating Trafficking in Human Beings

Tokyo, 23 September 2003


Photo (from left to right): Ms. Horiuchi, ILO Representative in Japan; Dr. Konrad, Chair of the Stability Pact Task Force on Trafficking for South Eastern Europe of the OSCE; Mr. Plant, Head of the ILO Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour; Ms. Hayashi, Attorney-at-Law; and Prof. Mushakoji, Professor of the Chubu Institute of Advanced Studies
Photo: ILO Symposium on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings


On 23 September 2003, the ILO Office in Japan held its third ILO Symposium on human trafficking, entitled "Combating Trafficking in Human Beings: Learning from the European Experience". The symposium welcomed two keynote speakers, Dr. Helga Konrad, Chair of the Stability Pact Task Force on Trafficking for South Eastern Europe of the OSCE, and Mr. Roger Plant, Head of the ILO Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour. Through sharing their experience in Europe, the symposium aimed at exploring the future directions and solutions for Japan. It also welcomed as commentators, Ms. Yoko Hayashi, Attorney-at-law active in the legal protection of victims of trafficking in Japan, and Pr. Kinhide Mushakoji, Professor of International Relations, Human Rights and Human Security of the Chubu Institute of Advanced Studies.

The Stability Pact Taskforce on Trafficking in Human Beings (SPTF) ( was created in June 2000 following the decision, taken in Oslo in October 1999, to make trafficking issues one of the priorities within the OSCE and the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. Chaired by Dr. Konrad, it acts as a catalyst for relevant political commitments and to encourage and strengthen cooperation between South Eastern European countries, and streamline their efforts for a political, economic and security integration into Europe. The ILO is part of its expert coordination team, comprised of international organizations and NGOs.

The ILO Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour (SAP-FL) was created by the ILO Governing Body in November 2001, with the mandate to give more visibility and coherence to ILO activities against forced labour and trafficking. It is giving particular attention to integrated approaches against trafficking, which requires work both in origin and destination countries. The SAP-FL has begun with case studies, covering different economic sectors, as well as more general analysis of the economic and demand aspects of trafficking, based on which it is preparing integrated operational activities covering all aspects of the trafficking cycle in origin and destination countries.

Photo of Dr. Konrad The symposium was chaired by Ms. Mitsuko Horiuchi, ILO Representative in Japan. It started with the projection of the ILO Film on Trafficking "Bought and Sold". It was followed by Dr. Konrad's (photo left) keynote presentation, which gave an overview of the problem of trafficking in Europe, then presented the approach taken by the SPTF, the responses needed and their difficulties, and what will be needed in the future to address them. This was followed by Mr. Roger Plant's (photo right) keynote speech, emphasizing on the "forced labour" dimension of human trafficking (as a dimension equally important but usually receiving less media attention than "sexual exploitation"), the basic principles needed for an effective action against it, and the importance of comprehensive and integrated programmes against trafficking. Photo of Mr. Plant
Photo of Ms. Hayashi The two keynote presentations were followed by comments from Ms. Yoko Hayashi (photo left), who explained the situation of trafficked victims and the legislation in Japan in light of the keynote speeches, followed by comments coming from Pr. Mushakoji (photo right), suggesting to develop Europe-Asia cooperation, and presenting the idea of establishing a UN Year to combat trafficking. Photo of Prof. Mushakoji


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Updated by YH. Approved by MH. Last update: 14 October 2003