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

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news