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UN expert calls on Security Council to address trafficking

UN expert calls on Security Council to address trafficking as human rights issue

NEW YORK (26 October 2018) ­– The UN Security Council should ensure women take a greater part in peace building processes as a way to prevent human trafficking and tackle exploitation before, during and after conflicts, a UN expert says.

Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, said that trafficking must be considered as a violation of human rights, not just a security issue.

“Trafficking, which mostly affects women and girls, often gives rise to further gendered harms such as unwanted pregnancy, forced abortion and sexually transmitted infection; yet protection measures, such as access to shelter, food, education for children, as well as sexual and reproductive health provisions, are not systematically included in peace processes and agreements,” Giammarinaro said in a report to the General Assembly.

The Special Rapporteur said including more women in conflict and post-conflict responses would raise awareness about the vulnerabilities of women and girls. “Designing and implementing relief and recovery measures for victims of trafficking in close cooperation with survivors and organisations promoting women’s rights is instrumental to preventing trafficking and re-trafficking, and contributes to women’s empowerment,” Giammarinaro said.

If trafficking is not confronted, there is a danger it becomes entrenched in countries that were rebuilding after a conflict. “Preventive anti-trafficking measures should be considered both as life-saving interventions and as being aimed at preventing violence against women,” the independent expert said.

“It is vital that trafficking be fully integrated into the Security Council’s ‘Women, Peace and Security’ agenda, which prioritises the importance of women’s participation throughout the peace process, from conflict prevention to peacebuilding and peacekeeping.” The agenda is underpinned by four pillars – Prevention; Participation; Protection; and Relief and Recovery – which are the foundation for states to build their own National Action Plans on the issue.

“Trafficking needs to be fully integrated into these four pillars, to ensure more effective human rights-based and gender-sensitive anti-trafficking responses and long-term solutions for survivors in conflict and post-conflict settings,” the UN expert said.

ENDS

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