A selection of UN TV programmes, webcasts and video clips on issues in the news

Monday, 15 August 2016

World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2016, July 30.

World Day against Trafficking in Persons, 30 July.
Día Mundial contra la Trata, 30 de Julio.
Всемирный день борьбы с торговлей людьми, 30 июля.
Journée mondiale de la dignité des victimes de la traite d’êtres humains, 30 juillet.
اليوم العالمي لمكافحة الاتجار بالأشخاص، 30 يوليو.


All over the world, tens of millions of people are desperately seeking refuge, many of them far from home and even farther from safety.  Migrants and refugees face imposing physical obstacles and bureaucratic barriers. Sadly, they are also vulnerable to human rights violations and exploitation by human traffickers.

Human traffickers prey on the most desperate and vulnerable. To end this inhumane practice, we must do more to shield migrants and refugees -- and particularly young people, women and children -- from those who would exploit their yearnings for a better, safer and more dignified future. We must govern migration in a safe and rights-based way, create sufficient and accessible pathways for the entry of migrants and refugees, and ultimately tackle the root causes of the conflicts -- extreme poverty, environmental degradation and other crises which force people across borders, seas and deserts.

These issues will be central to the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, to be held in New York on 19 September 2016. This meeting aims amongst other goals to win renewed commitment for intensified efforts to combat human trafficking and smuggling of migrants and refugees, ensure protection and assistance for the victims of trafficking and of abusive smuggling, as well as all those who suffer human rights violations and abuse in the course of large movements, and promote respect for international law, standards and frameworks.

I call on every nation -- whether country of origin, transit or destination --  to recognize our shared responsibility. As a first step, we need a strong legal basis for action. I encourage all States to adopt and implement the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocol on human trafficking as well as all core international human rights instruments.   

On this World Day against Trafficking in Persons, I urge everyone to recommit to protect, respect and fulfil the human rights of all migrants and refugees. Creating and supporting well-governed, safe and human rights-based migration and asylum procedures will be an important step towards ending the abhorrent practice of profiting from human despair and misery.

Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General.

 Statement by UNODC Executive Director, Mr. Yury Fedotov for the World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2016.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for joining us for this event to mark the 2016 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
I would also like to thank our distinguished panellists for their participation.
This day to call attention to the plight of trafficking victims is needed more than ever.
The international community is struggling with what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called the biggest refugee and migration crisis since the Second World War.
Meanwhile, human traffickers, as well as migrant smugglers, are taking advantage of misery to turn a huge profit.
Criminals prey on vulnerable people in need and without support, and they see migrants, especially women and children, as easy targets for exploitation, violence and abuse.
Armed conflicts and humanitarian crises expose those caught in the crossfire to increased risk of being trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced labour, organ removal, servitude and other forms of slavery.
The scope of the violence and criminal exploitation the world has witnessed appears to know no bounds.
An ongoing investigation by Italian authorities into smuggling groups operating in the Mediterranean has found that these criminals are highly organized, working together to manage most of the business in this region.
Migrants who can pay are crammed into boats and shipped out. Thousands of children, men and women have died on these perilous sea crossings, while the criminals responsible escape justice.
The terrible fate of migrants who run out of money and cannot pay the smugglers thousands of dollars is beyond imagination.
Investigators have uncovered evidence suggesting that these people are being sold, fifteen thousand dollars per person, to other criminal groups, who kill them and harvest their organs for sale.
While not all migrants are vulnerable to being trafficked, the forthcoming UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2016 identifies a clear pattern linking undocumented migration to trafficking in persons.
Certain migration flows appear particularly vulnerable to human trafficking.
Nationals from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador represent about twenty per cent of the victims detected in the United States, while the legal migration flows from these countries represent about five per cent of the total.
Similar patterns are found in Western Europe, where citizens from South Eastern European countries comprise a large share of detected victims.
The UNODC report, which will be released later this year, further highlights the links between human trafficking and refugee flows from countries including Syria and Eritrea, and involving refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh.
We clearly need to do much more to stop human traffickers and migrant smugglers, as part of coordinated and comprehensive responses to the refugee crisis and migration challenges we are facing around the world.
In order to do this, I urge governments to ratify and effectively implement the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols on human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
By strengthening action under the Protocols, we can better protect vulnerable children, women and men.
The Convention and the Protocols also underpin the international cooperation needed to bring criminals to justice.
Too often and for too long, migrant smugglers and human traffickers have gone about their business with impunity.
But we know how to fight this fight.
The migrant smuggling investigation I referred to earlier is using the Convention's provisions on mutual legal assistance and extradition to pursue the alleged criminals across borders.
The Italian investigation is built on the instruments and expertise honed through many years of anti-mafia action, including tracking the financial proceeds of crime.
This shows that we can and we must make better use of the tools and frameworks that we already have in place, also in cases involving human trafficking.
I very much hope that Member States will take the opportunities presented by the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants in September, and the Conference of the Parties to the UNTOC in October, to reinforce these efforts.
I also urge you to contribute to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, which works across the globe to provide trafficking victims with shelter and vocational training and schooling, as well as access to health, psychosocial, legal and economic services.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The challenges presented by the unprecedented flows of people around the world are many. But as the Secretary-General has said, this is not a crisis of numbers, it is a crisis of solidarity.
This is true too of our efforts to protect people from human trafficking and other crimes.
Working together, we can give trafficking victims, as well as the many children, women and men vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, a much-needed voice and a helping hand.
You can count on UNODC to support you, as ever.

Thank you.

Yury Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director.

Statement by the United Nations human rights expert, Mrs. Maria Grazia Giammarinaro for the World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2016.

Speaking ahead of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on Saturday 30 July, United Nations human rights expert Maria Grazia Giammarinaro urged all States to protect people, particularly women and children, from trafficking in persons, and made a special appeal to those countries hosting victims and potential victims of trafficking among persons fleeing conflict around the world.
“Walls, fences and laws criminalising irregular migration do not prevent human trafficking; on the contrary, they increase the vulnerabilities of people fleeing conflict, persecution, crisis situations and extreme poverty, who can fall easy prey to traffickers and exploiters.

Women and girls raped and sexually exploited during their journey, often pregnant, men who have lost all their possessions and are indebted with their smugglers and bound to work without a salary for years, children begging or working to support their families in precarious circumstances, children travelling alone sent by their families abroad in the hope of a better future: all these people trying to reach a safe place, during their journey have probably been already subjugated by traffickers, or are at high risk of being trafficked.
Over the past years thousands of people including many children fleeing conflict have lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea.  In the first half of 2016 only, the International Organization for Migration estimated 2.856 deaths or missing persons. Such tragedies have fostered enormous emotion and solidarity in the public opinion, but unfortunately have not substantially changed the terms of the discussion at the government level.

The Syrian conflict in particular is causing a massive exodus that should be seen as a global humanitarian crisis, which requires a shared responsibility approach at the European and international level.

Unfortunately, EU countries have mostly failed to detect trafficked persons and address protection needs among people fleeing the Syrian and other conflicts. Some countries have adopted restrictive approaches, which exacerbated vulnerabilities of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to human trafficking.

States should establish or  adapt existing procedures and services aimed at providing assistance and protection, including gender- and child-sensitive measures, to victims of trafficking, and consider extending some assistance measures – especially help for job opportunities - to people at risk of trafficking and exploitation.

Such national procedures and mechanisms should be established, in close cooperation with civil society organizations, in all hotspots, reception and administrative detention centers, where situations of trafficking and risk of trafficking and exploitation can be detected and addressed.

It is time to take action, and put in place policies based on shared responsibilities, aimed at ensuring survival, relocation and social inclusion of people fleeing conflict, and preventing trafficking and exploitation in the context of mixed migration flows of people.”

Ms. Maria Grazia Giammarinaro (Italy) was appointed as Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2014, 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. Ms. Giammarinaro has been a Judge since 1991. She served as a Pre-Trial Judge at the Criminal Court of Rome, and currently serves as a Judge in the Civil Court of Rome. She was the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings of the OSCE, and served in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security in Brussels, where she was responsible for combating human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. She drafted the EU Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.
Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, United Nations Human Rights.

Forum : World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, July 30.

Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. The link between the refugee and migration crisis and trafficking in persons was highlighted at this year's observance of the day by the UN Office for Drugs and Crime.

Resources :
Feature stories on trafficking from the UN Human Rights Office
UN Voluntary Trust Fund for victims of trafficking,
EU Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims.
A/RES/68/192 Improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons
2014 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons
UNODC Human Trafficking Case Law Database
UN.GIFT - Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking
Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking


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