Thank you, Madam Moderator,
Thank you to the speakers for their reflections and contributions on these important topics.
I want to extend my gratitude to the civic society representatives as well, for your continuous effort on important issues. Norway is, and will continue to be, a strong supporter of a strong, diverse and independent civil society.
Norway is this year the Chair of the Human Dimension Committee of the OSCE. In the committee’s discussions, the illegal and illegitimate Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and its consequences, particularly the suffering this war continues to have on the civilian population, has been at the forefront.
Related specifically to today’s topic, let me share a couple of examples:
In May, we had representatives from the local government in Lviv and neighboring States sharing their experiences with handling the large influx of internally displaced people and refugees from Ukraine. The representative from Lviv Social Services described how they worked tirelessly to meet the massive needs of the IDPs. Their most pressing issue was to provide all with accommodation, and to integrate all in the economic and social spheres of the Lviv region. This work is extremely important to prevent instances of trafficking and exploitation, and we are impressed by and fully supportive of the efforts undertaken by the Ukrainian authorities.
In March, the participating States held a special meeting addressing the risks of human trafficking associated with having countless women and girls forced to flee the war in Ukraine.
Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Mr. Val Richey, emphasized the importance of coordinated efforts by participating States to minimize the risks of human trafficking.
Norway was very pleased to receive Mr. Richey for a country visit to Norway in September this year. He met with the many authorities and institutions involved in anti-trafficking work in Norway, and they presented the challenges they face in their daily work. Through open and frank discussions, the Special Representative made valuable suggestions for adjustments and new initiatives building on experiences and best practices from other OSCE countries.
We encourage other States also to make constructive use of the competence of the Coordinator’s office and the OSCE toolbox in general.