JEN | @@justearthnews | 28 Sep 2017
“Human trafficking is all around us, in all regions of the world,” said Guterres, referring to such practices as forced labour, sexual servitude, recruitment of child soldiers and other forms of exploitation and abuse.
The Assembly’s high-level meeting, convened to examine progress achieved and challenges remaining in the implementation of the seven-year-old Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, opened on Wednesday and closes tomorrow.
In the Declaration, adopted without a vote, UN Member States demonstrated their strong political will to take decisive concerted action to end the heinous crime.
As millions of children, women and men spill out of their countries towards safety, they find themselves at the mercy of merciless people
In recent years, rising conflict, insecurity and economic uncertainty have brought new tests.
“As millions of children, women and men spill out of their countries towards safety, they find themselves at the mercy of merciless people,” Guterres said.
These criminal networks are global, well-organized, technologically savvy, and highly proficient in taking advantage of gaps in governance and weaknesses in institutions, he added.
Fighting human trafficking requires greater use of relevant instruments, including the UN conventions against transnational organized crime and against corruption, and next year’s expected adoption by the General Assembly of a global compact on safe, orderly and regular migration is a further potential milestone, he said.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by Member States in 2015, also addresses some of the root causes that make people vulnerable to trafficking. Often, trafficking is abetted by poverty and inequality.
“Fighting trafficking and advancing sustainable, inclusive development go hand in hand,” Guterres said.
Also addressing the meeting, Yuri Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said “this appraisal and the adoption of the political Declaration can help us take this commitment forward and sharpen responses to an odious crime that continues to exploit and victimize the most vulnerable, in all parts of the world.”
To build a robust evidence base, UNODC is currently working with the academic community to develop innovative methodologies to measure the size and scope of the trafficking problem, he added.
General Assembly President Miroslav LajÄák also addressed the meeting, as did Mira Sorvino, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the global fight against human trafficking and Grizelda Grootboom, a civil society representative and victim of human trafficking.
Photo: UNODC/Mattia Insolera
- One in four Iraqi children impacted by conflict, poverty; education key for lasting peace – UNICEF
- World cannot stand idle as millions in DR Congo ‘suffer in silence,’ says UN agency
- Somalia: UN, partners seek $1.6 billion to protect millions of lives from drought
- Senior Pakistani scribe urges Islamabad to take up cases of journalists seriously
- In strife-torn Afghanistan, people need support 'more than ever' says senior UN aid official