NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

29 Jun. 2004

NATO Policy on combating trafficking in human beings

  1. This NATO policy takes into account the universal condemnation of the crime of trafficking in human beings and reiterates that it constitutes a serious abuse of human rights, especially affecting women and children. It is a transnational problem, requiring concerted multilateral action if it is to be defeated. Trafficking in human beings, affects countries of origin, countries of transit and countries of destination. This modern day slave trade fuels corruption and organised crime. It has the potential to weaken and destabilise fragile governments and runs counter to the goals of NATO-led efforts especially in South Eastern Europe. A zero-tolerance policy regarding trafficking in human beings by NATO forces and staff, combined with education and training, is required.
  2. Allies reaffirm their commitment to promoting peace and security in the Euro-Atlantic Area and to combating the trafficking in human beings and agree the following policy. NATO will support and sustain further development of practical cooperation between nations and between NATO and other international institutions such as the UN, OSCE and International Organisation for Migration. NATO will also consult with NGOs active in this field with a view to improving its existing mechanisms and measures for the implementation of the present policy. Close exchange of information and experience between NATO and the EU should also be developed in accordance with agreed procedures.
  3. This policy on combating the trafficking in human beings aims to reinforce efforts by NATO and individual nations to prevent and combat trafficking and the commitments undertaken in the context of other international organisations including the “UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime”. and the OSCE Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings. NATO and non-NATO troop contributing nations will develop and implement various measures that discourage the demand by their military and civilian personnel that fosters all forms of exploitation of persons.
  4. In the context of this policy trafficking means, the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat of use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purposes of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others, or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
  5. This policy is developed by NATO in consultation with its Partners and nations contributing forces to NATO-led operations. Allies re-affirm their commitment to ratification, acceptance or approval of the UN Convention and relevant Protocol and agree:
    1. to review national legislation and report on national efforts to meet obligations associated with the UN Convention and its Protocol in accordance with the relevant decisions taken by the Parties to those treaties;
    2. to encourage all nations contributing forces to NATO- led operations to ratify, accept or approve the UN Convention Against Organised Crime and relevant Protocol and adhere to the OSCE Code of Conduct;
    3. that this policy is aimed at securing standards of individual behaviour;
    4. that all personnel taking part in NATO led-operations should receive appropriate training to make them aware of the problem of trafficking and how this modern day slave trade impacts on human rights, stability and security, as well as being informed of their own responsibilities and duties and the respective responsibilities of International Organisations in this field;
    5. in the conduct of operations, to continue efforts, within their competence and respective mandates, to provide support to responsible authorities in the host country in their efforts to combat trafficking in human beings;
    6. to incorporate contractual provisions that prohibit contractors from engaging in trafficking in human beings or facilitating it and impose penalties on contractors who fail to fulfil their obligations in this regard; and
    7. to evaluate implementation of their efforts as part of the ongoing reviews carried out by the competent authorities.
  6. In order to ensure maximum effectiveness of the present policy, NATO nations commit themselves to ensure full national implementation of this policy. Non-NATO Troop contributing nations are expected to take similar steps upon joining a NATO-led operation.
  7. NATO personnel serving at NATO Headquarters and its Agencies as well as those taking part in NATO led operations should continue to conduct themselves with regard to the highest professional standards and with respect to national as well as international law.

Related information:

  • Appendix 1: NATO Guidelines on combating trafficking in human beings for military forces and civilian personnel deployed in NATO-led operations
  • Appendix 2: NATO Guidance for the development of training and educational programmes to support the policy on combating the trafficking in human beings
  • Appendix 3: Guidelines for NATO staff on preventing the promotion and facilitation of trafficking in human beings

Last updated: 30-Mar-2011 14:53