World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN Expert: “Seychelles is not out of reach”

“Seychelles is not out of reach” – UN expert calls for further measures to prevent and fight trafficking in persons

MAHE / GENEVA (3 February 2014) – “Yes Seychelles is an island but not an island out of reach of traffickers and their nefarious activities in today’s globalised world,” the United Nations Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, warned* on Friday at the end of her first official visit to the country.

“Trafficking in persons in Seychelles is at best insidious and remains hidden as a result of lack of awareness,” said the independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to promote the prevention of trafficking in persons in all its forms and to encourage measures to uphold and protect the human rights of victims.

“The potential scale of the problem of trafficking in persons in the country, its trends and scope appears to be underestimated or unknown, and needs to be further investigated by the Government and law enforcement agencies,” she stressed.

The scarcely populated island has a large influx of both tourists and migrant workers. Anecdotal evidence suggest that trafficking in persons happens and that Seychelles may increasingly become a destination country for both trafficking for sexual exploitation, especially of girls from Eastern Europe, and also for labour exploitation of migrant workers from India, China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Kenya, Madagascar and others.

“The political commitment to end human trafficking clearly exists in Seychelles,” Ms. Ezeilo said. She noted, among other things, the country’s ratification of key international conventions and the creation of the National Anti-Trafficking Committee.

The Special Rapporteur welcomed the commitment to fight this phenomenon and ensure that it does not take root in Seychelles expressed to her by the President of Seychelles, James Alix Michel, during an official meeting.

“However”, she said, “the immediate concern is the absence of a legal and policy framework to prevent and combat trafficking in persons.” The expert expressed regret that the Government was yet to criminalize trafficking in persons as required by article 7 of the Palermo Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, to which Seychelles is a state party.

“I am concerned that in critical sectors of the economy, such as tourism and fisheries, the government is yet to put in place measures that will discourage sex tourism, child prostitution and trafficking in persons for labour exploitation,” Ms. Ezeilo added.

The human rights expert urged the Government to fast-track the draft anti-trafficking bill to fulfil its international obligations, and establish a National Action Plan to combat trafficking based on a human rights and victim-centred approach.

The Special Rapporteur highlighted the need to collect data on trends, forms and manifestations of trafficking, its causes and consequences. “This survey should be carried out in collaboration with research institutions and in close cooperation with international, civil society and faith-based organizations,” she specified.

“Seychelles also needs to assess technical assistance towards building the capacity of its frontline officers, including police, immigration officers, labour Inspectors and prosecutors, to help them identify possible victims of trafficking, carry out necessary investigation and prosecute the criminals involved,” she said.

The Special Rapporteur called for a more effective and adequately funded National Human Rights Commission, in accordance with the Paris Principles. She also urged the Government to ratify without delay relevant International Labour Organization Conventions against forced labour and exploitation, especially the recent ILO Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers.

“I want to reinforce the call made during the Universal Periodic Review of Seychelles at the Human Rights Council in Geneva urging the government to adopt and implement measures to protect women and children from domestic violence, sexual exploitation and trafficking in persons,” the expert added.

Ms. Ezeilo will present a comprehensive report with her final observations and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2014.

(*) Check the full end-of-mission statement by the Special Rapporteur.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Julie Webb-Pullman: Palestinian National Unity Government

A national unity government. Elections. A new-look PLO. Community reconciliation. Big hopes, even bigger expectations as representatives of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Hamas came to an agreement in Gaza today to form a national unity government and hold elections. More>>

ALSO:

Whaling: Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research In Defiance Of World Court Ruling

The ICR Today Filed Court Briefs Stating They Intend to Return to Antarctica to Hunt Whales in 2015-2016; Will Seek to Enjoin Other Sea Shepherd Entities from Obstructing Their Operations More>>

Ukraine: UN Urges 'Maximum Restraint' Amid Situation In East Ukraine

Deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for maximum restraint and appealed to all sides to work towards calming the situation, which has the 'growing potential' to ... More>>

United Nations: Children Can Now Lodge Complaints With The UN

GENEVA (14 April 2014) – United Nations child rights experts have hailed a new treaty that allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights. More>>

India: Election But A Ritual In Nation Lacking Rule Of Law

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the people of India for their participation to elect the 16th Lok Sabha. The process has attracted, as usual, considerable media attention across the world. Media claims the process to be 'the largest democratic ... More>>

Solomon Islands: Thousands Remain Affected After Flash Floods

An estimated 52,000 people remain affected in the worst-hit areas of Honiara and greater Guadalcanal following last week’s devastating floods which killed at least 23 people. More>>

ALSO:

World: Some 437,000 People Murdered Worldwide In 2012 - UN

Almost half a million people across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide, with the highest murder rates logged in the Americas and Africa, and the lowest in Europe, Asia and Oceania, the United Nations Office on ... More>>

Central African Republic:: Security Council Establishes UN Peacekeeping Mission

Deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and ongoing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Security Council today approved the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation ... More>>

ALSO:

Parliament: NZ Sending Aid Flight To Solomons

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced further support for the response to severe flooding in Solomon Islands. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news