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    Human trafficking on the rise in Russia - OSCE representative

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    Moscow, June 29 (RIA Novosti) - Human trafficking is increasing in Russia, a senior European official said Wednesday.

    Helga Konrad, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Special Representative on Trafficking in Human Beings, told a Moscow news conference that human trafficking was evolving and taking on new forms. She said that a new form, known as domestic trafficking, or trafficking in people inside a country, had recently emerged and that it was growing to menacing proportions in Russia.

    But human trafficking is not a problem endemic to Russia alone, the OSCE official said. Konrad said it was one of the most prevalent types of crime in the world, and no nation was immune.

    She emphasized the need for every state to set up its own agency to deal with human trafficking and for everyone to act in conjunction with the OSCE.

    The official said her predecessors had focused mainly on the sex trade, whereas she was determined to extend her position's scope to other related issues, such as the trafficking of people into forced labor. She also stressed the importance of addressing the problems of forced marriage and trafficking in human organs.

    Konrad said she was going to call on Russian lawmakers to adopt enabling legislation. According to her, only one provision on human trafficking is in effect in Russia at this point and it is highly important therefore to adopt a full-fledged law. She said she would be urging the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, to do this as soon as possible.

    The OSCE official also declared her intention to assist Russian non-governmental organizations in building up their capabilities to combat human trafficking. She said she would like Russia to establish the position of a rapporteur on human trafficking. She said that during her visit and meetings in Moscow, she would propose to the Russian government that it create the position of national rapporteur on human trafficking.

    The special representative added that the job involved collating information on human trafficking and reporting to the authorities on efforts to combat it.

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