Updated: 04-Aug-2004 NATO Policy document

Policy document

9 July 2004

for NATO staff on preventing the promotion and facilitation
of trafficking in human beings

Official texts

NATO Policy On Combating Trafficking In Human Beings

Introduction and scope

1. The present rules set out the standards expected of all NATO staff in furtherance of the mandate of the North Atlantic Council, as laid out in PO(2003)185(INV).

2. These rules apply to all NATO staff, whether on post or deployed on mission on behalf of the Organisation.

General Principles

3. The basic principles for the behaviour of NATO Staff are laid down at Article 12.14, 13.1 and 13.2 of the NATO Civilian Personnel Regulations.

4. In conformity with established procedures and regulations with specific reference to trafficking in human beings, this means that:

  1. NATO staff shall not engage in trafficking in human beings, including for the purpose of sexual exploitation, nor they will facilitate it; and
  2. NATO staff shall have the duty to report to his/her supervisors any instance of human trafficking of which he/she may have become aware, as well as any concerns that he or she may have regarding the involvement of another NATO staff in trafficking in human beings including for the purpose of sexual exploitation.


5. With reference to the definition of trafficking in human beings, NATO reaffirms its adherence to and compliance with the provisions of Article 3 of the “UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime”.

6. In particular, trafficking in human beings 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.

7. “NATO staff” means international civilian personnel (seconded or freelance), i.e. personnel of a NATO body recruited from among the nationals of members of the Alliance and filling international posts appearing on the approved establishment of that NATO body. The present policy applies also to consultants and temporary personnel.

Implementing Guidelines

8. In order to implement the principles spelled out at Paragraph 4, above, the following measures are required:

  • NATO Secretary General will, drawing upon the expertise acquired by other regional, international, intergovernmental, and non-governmental organisations and in coordination with the Director of the International Military Staff and NATO Strategic Commanders, develop specific guidelines which will define, i.a.:
    1. the specific standards of behaviour to which NATO staff will abide; and
    2. the investigative and disciplinary procedures to be implemented.
  • Member Nations will ensure that NATO staff who are under their jurisdiction and who have engaged in criminal activities related to trafficking in human beings, are prosecuted in accordance with their national legislation and procedures.

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