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Christopher SmithChristopher Smith (United States)

In order to facilitate the involvement of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in the international debate and action on trafficking issues, President Bruce George appointed then-Head of the U.S. Delegation to the OSCE PA, Congressman Christopher Smith, as his Special Representative on Human Trafficking Issues in February 2004. Every subsequent president has reappointed Smith, who is the author of the United States’ landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and its 2003 and 2005 reauthorizations. He is also the author of a major new child trafficking prevention law, the International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders, which became U.S. law in 2016.

Smith currently serves as the Chair of the U.S. Helsinki Commission and the Co-Chair of the Congressional Human Trafficking Caucus. He is a senior member on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee and is Chair of its Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations Subcommittee.

Within the OSCE, Smith has long been a strong and active advocate for combating human trafficking. Since raising this issue at the 1999 St. Petersburg Annual Session, the first time it appeared on the OSCE agenda, Smith has introduced or cosponsored a supplementary item and/or amendments on trafficking to committee resolutions at each annual session of the OSCE PA, including on issues such as sex tourism prevention, training of the transportation sector in victim identification and reporting, corporate responsibility for trafficking in supply chains, and special protections for vulnerable populations.

These efforts have raised the profile of the human trafficking problem in the OSCE region, are reflected in the 2013 Addendum to the OSCE Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, and have prompted other parliamentarians to take the lead in addressing human trafficking their respective capitals.

Mandate:

  • Collect information on human trafficking in the OSCE region;

  • Promote dialogue in the OSCE, in its Parliamentary Assembly in particular, on how to combat human trafficking;

  • Advise the Assembly both on the implementation of its agreed policies in these matters as well as on the development of new policies;

  • Consider how to protect the victims and how to combat the criminal elements involved;

  • Communicate with relevant actors within the OSCE  who work on issues concerning human trafficking.

 

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