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Αρχική arrow newsitems arrow CoE: +Big Business ask Clean Ethical Certificates/Labels versus Human Trafficking, on their Products

CoE: +Big Business ask Clean Ethical Certificates/Labels versus Human Trafficking, on their Products

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Τρίτη, 22 Μάιος 2018

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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- An UnExpected Mark of potential Efficiency for CoE's already 10 Years-long Fight against Human Trafficking and Forced Labor it often provokes, among others, was, during a 2 Days International Conference in Strasbourg, the Interest Expressed by several Big and Other Businesses to receive a kind of Ethical Certificate for their Products and/or Services, which would Attest that they are Free from any legitimate Suspicion of eventualy Exploiting Forced Labour resulting from Human Trafficking, as it was revealed in a Special Workshop dedicated to "Strategic Partnerships" prospects, with the Participation of Representatives not only from PanEuropean CoE's specialized Watchdog "GRETA", but also from the Euro-Atlantic OSCE, the OAS for American Countries, etc.


- That surprizing Spin off suddenly emerged at the Surface when a UK Representative, participant at that Workshop's Panel, (which was attended also by CoE's Director on Anti-Trafficking, Petya Nestorova (Comp. her earlier Statements to "Eurofora" at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coe10yearsagainsthumantrafficking.html), during those Debates, suggested to go Beyond "Name and Shame" Measures, and Start Cooperating also with Businesses which have Recently shown their Interest to make Sure and Known that their Supply Chains are Free from any Exploitation of Forced Labour due to Human Trafficking, etc, but Follow, on the Contrary, Basic Ethical Principles in this regard.


- Similar Appeals were also made by at least 3 Other National Representatives from various CoE and GRETA Member States, (including, f.ex. Belgium, Greece, Bulgaria, etc). To this was Added even the voice of certain NGOs (f.ex. from Switzerland, etc), who said that they had been recently "Approached" by certain Companies, Asking a kind of "Certification", mutatis-mutandis similar to that of "Fair Trade", etc.


- This included mainly "Big Companies",  such as "IKEA" and others, (who were also Anxious that some unscrupulous SMEs might, eventually, Over-Exploit Human Trafficking in order to Blow Prices by Social Dumping and Snatch Procurements, etc), but it could also Benefit to several Small and Medium Businesses too, as some added.


- Big Businesses were particularly concerned and Relevant, since they are linked and exposed to World-wide Supply Chains, as well as many States' Procurements', policy, etc.


 - Such Moves might, Potentially, offer also some New Opportunities for adequate "Public - Private Patrnerships" in the Fight against Trafficking of Human Beings and Forced Labour, those participants Highlighted. States are not against Profitable Businesses, on the Condition that they are also Compatible with basic Ethical Principles and Legal Obligations, they added.


 - In this regard, some Proposed to eventually establish a certain kind of "Good Practices" List, relevant "Certificates" and/or "Labels", etc, while also the concrete Example of the ..."Ethical Chocolate" (a formula used elsewhere in the Past), was praised.


CoE has Already Published, as early as Since November 2016, a "Compendium of Good Practices" on Anti-Trafficking Measures, but this concerned mainly Decsions taken by Member States for the Implementation of the relevant PanEuropean Convention, as hey result from "National Evaluation Reports" by GRETA's Experts, while, here, it's also about Private Businesses too.


 Obviously, a Good and Solid Monitoring, in such cases, would be Necessary, in order to Avoid any Risk of eventual Corruption and/or Conflict or Interest Attempts. But, the very Possibility of such Partnerships nowadays, naturally Reveals also a Growing Potential for CoE's Anti-Trafficking Fight in real practice, if it's Carefully and Well used.
Converging Facts, clearly Indicate that such Proposals might Probably be Discussed, and perhaps Endorsed, mutatis-mutandis, in one way or another, fully or partly, in the Wider Framework of an Exceptional Meeting, Tomorrow at the CoE in Strasbourg, of National Coordinators for CoE's Member States engaged in Anti-Trafficking efforts, (organized Together with OSCE's competent Representative : Comp. Statements made Earlier to "Eurofora" at
http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coe10yearsagainsthumantrafficking.html) , in order to Design the Outlines of CoE's Activities in this field at the foeseeable Future.


- At any case, it's also a Fact that, in view of that forthcoming Meeting, Tomorrow All Day, CoE's Director on the Fight against Trafficking of Human Beings, Petya Nestorovan told "Eurofora", Later this Afternoon, that she was in a hurry to join a Team of her Collegues at CoE's adjacent "Agora" Building, where they were due to Work until Late this Evening, at the Eve of the above-mentioned Exceptional Meeting, in order to Better Prepare it on Time.

 

Meanwhile, this New point on Public-Private Partnerships against Human Trafficking was naturally mentioned, by that Panel's Rapporteur, Patricia Le Cocq from Belgium's Federal Migration Center, at the Concluding Session of the Plenary of CoE's International Conference on the 1Oth Anniversary since the PanEuropean Convention against Trafficking of Human Beings entered into force (2008-2018), later Today Afternoon.

 

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I.e., just before the Participants were Invited at a Reception organized by the incoming Presidency of COE's Committee of Ministers by Croatia (May - November 2018), which had sponsored also that Conference, (opened earlier this Morning by the Croate Deputy Minister of Justice, Ivan Crncec), where a Music and Dance Group from the Caraibes performed artfully, and, (we were told), also ...Ethically.

 

 


(../..)



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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send, Earlier, to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap)

 

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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.


    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.


- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.


 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).


     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.

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Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.


-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.


    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.

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