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

 


UN: First-ever World Day against Trafficking in Persons

Statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, on the first-ever World Day against Trafficking in Persons, 30 July 2014

Jul 29, 2014

The trade in and exploitation of human beings through trafficking is one of the gravest violations of human dignity that exist. The purposes of trafficking in persons range from forced and bonded labour to various forms of sexual exploitation, forced marriages, removal of organs and other contemporary practices similar to slavery.

On July 30, the first World day against trafficking in persons, we emphasise three goals. To uncover and expose traffickers. To safeguard vulnerable children, women and men from falling prey to exploitation. And to honour and protect the victims of these crimes – people who have been coerced and defrauded by trafficking, pressed into servitude, and often exposed to violence and other forms of abuse.

They may be young women who have been enslaved as prostitutes or abused as unpaid domestic workers. Girls and boys who have been forced to beg and steal on the street, or exploited in dangerous and back-breaking work. Men who have been trapped in everlasting servitude, in conditions that no human being should have to endure.

Every country experiences the crime of trafficking in persons, and every government has a responsibility to fight it – both directly, through investigations and prosecutions, and in the deeper sense of serious and sustained efforts at prevention, which aim to safeguard future generations from such ordeals. To assist them, there are a number of international legal frameworks in place that address various aspects of trafficking, trying to ensure that such grave crimes are met with thorough investigations and appropriate punishment.

In response to the evident need for practical, rights-based policy guidance My Office has developed the Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking. They place the victim at the centre of our work and emphasize root causes. In receiving countries, patterns of trafficking are fuelled by demand for goods and services derived from exploitation, such as prostitution or products made cheaply by people who are not paid a living wage.
In supplier countries, victims have frequently been made vulnerable to traffickers by chronic discrimination based on ethnic origin or gender.

Inequalities, unjust distribution of power, social exclusion and lack of employment opportunities also drive people into the hands of unscrupulous traders. They may include teenage runaways, migrants, or members of discriminated minority groups. Often victims of trafficking are individuals in search of a better life for themselves and their families. Traffickers prey on them by offering false hope for a different future.

Often, after trapping their victims, traffickers exploit them in criminal schemes. They are therefore exposed to the possibility of being prosecuted as criminals or as irregular migrants. It is vital that they instead be seen as the victims of what is not only a crime but also a serious human rights violation.

My Office supports the invaluable work of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children; the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of Slavery; and the Special Rapporteur on Violence against women. I urge every country to extend standing invitations to them, in order to benefit from their careful investigations and detailed and expert recommendations to improve responses to trafficking.

Identifying, assisting, and protecting the victims and survivors of trafficking must be at the centre of our concerns. Firstly, because they have been treated as merchandise, often suffering years of almost unendurable physical and emotional violence. We owe them respect, care, and remedy – insofar as it is possible to recover from such experiences and be compensated for such wrongs. But in addition, we should use the services of survivors of these crimes because they can provide us with the keys to understanding the root causes of trafficking; the operational methodologies of the traffickers; and the best way to expose and eliminate these appalling crimes in order to protect others.

In 1991 the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery was established to help finance projects around the world that assist survivors. Well over half its grants go to survivors of trafficking, and on this World Day against Trafficking in Persons – which constitutes a significant milestone – I urge governments and private donors to contribute to the work of the Voluntary Fund.

The General Assembly's decision to mark the global calendar with an annual day dedicated to the fight against human trafficking is welcome. Few topics could be as vital or as grave. All of us have a responsibility – and the ability – to help end human trafficking. And our work with survivors, coupled with strong global action by law enforcement, can open the door to real change.

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