UN Secretary General: Human Trafficking Not Taken Seriously

(CNSNews.com) – Speaking at a modern day slavery event at the United Nations hosted by the UK, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday that “decision makers around the world” don’t take the problem of human trafficking seriously.

“Why were we able to arrest drug lords but not lords of human trafficking? If I want to be cynical, I can justify it. When I was in government, I thought that my children could be victims of drugs but never thought they could be victims of human trafficking. That’s probably why decision makers around the world never took this problem seriously,” he said.

“I must say that in my youth, I thought that slavery as such had disappeared from the world and that those not-so-fantastic pages of our history were lost. The truth is that we are seeing today dramatic new forms of force labor, human trafficking, and modern slavery,” he said.

Human trafficking is “a multinational industry,” Guterres said, “with people being taken from one place in the world, moving through other countries, and finally ending up in other places where they are submitted to forms of modern slavery, with financial and logistical mechanisms that need a very solid organization, which means we are dealing with multinationals of crime and with powerful people.”

Guterres pledged his “full support” to the UK’s initiative to end modern slavery and to committed do everything he could “to mobilize the UN and its different bodies.”

“We need to mobilize people and make them understand that the human suffering associated with these situations is absolutely unbearable, and the criminal nature of those handling these activities is absolutely unacceptable in the modern world,” he said.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who hosted the event, said they had “a long way to go” to end “forced labor, modern slavery, and human trafficking by 2030.”

To read the full story by Melanie After, on CNS News: Click Here

UN Migration Agency, Polaris to Launch Global Data Repository on Human Trafficking

Vienna – Counter-trafficking specialists yesterday (05/09) announced the pre-launch of the Counter-Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC) at the 5th Global Compact for Migration (GCM) consultations in Vienna. The CTDC is the result of a joint initiative led by IOM, the UN Migration Agency and Polaris, an independent organization combating modern slavery. Its online portal will consist of a global repository of data on human trafficking that protects the identities of victims, and uses a new international standard.

The announcement took place at a parallel event during the GCM consultations. At the pre-launch, IOM stressed the important role of the CTDC to fill the gap in terms of publicly available data on human trafficking. Harry Cook, IOM Data Management and Research Specialist stressed that the lack of data on human trafficking and the hurdles to collect it in a harmonized manner are two main problems for the counter-trafficking movement.

The CTDC will be the first global repository of its kind and will host primary data from counter-trafficking organizations around the world, helping deepen the understanding of vulnerability-producing contexts that migrants encounter during their migration process.

“We all want counter trafficking efforts to be as effective and efficient as possible, and in order to do that, they need to be based on real information about the problem,” said Sara Crowe, Polaris’ Associate Director in charge of data systems.

The CTDC will combine datasets including over 45,000 victim records from IOM and more than 31,000 cases of human trafficking from Polaris. Global data from other organizations is expected to enrich the current repository, which will facilitate an unparalleled level of cross border, trans-agency analysis and provide the counter-trafficking movement with a comprehensive understanding of the issue.

To read the full story on International Organization For Migration: Click Here

Ending Human Trafficking Requires Everyone’s Efforts, Archbishop Says

Ending human trafficking requires everyone’s efforts, archbishop says
(Credit: Claus Tom Christensen via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).)
Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, emphasized the importance of “multi-pronged strategies” to prevent human trafficking and aid the affected victims, and he noted the special role of women and religious personnel in offering an avenue of trust. Speaking at the UN, the archbishop said the Catholic Church is collaborating “with both the public and private sectors, including with government authorities” to help fight the crime.

NEW YORK CITY – At a United Nations gathering in New York City, a Holy See official stressed the need for a multi-pronged approach in fighting human trafficking and aiding victims.

“The issue of trafficking in persons can only be fully addressed by promoting effective juridical instruments and concrete collaboration at multiple levels by all stakeholders,” Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher told global leaders at a United Nations event on Tuesday.

Gallagher is the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States. He spoke at a High Level Leaders Event hosted by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, entitled, “A Call to Action to End Forced Labor, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.”

The archbishop emphasized the importance of “multi-pronged strategies” to prevent more of these crimes and aid the affected victims, and he noted the special role of women and religious personnel in offering an avenue of trust.

“Experience has shown that many victims are wary of trusting law enforcement authorities, but that they confide their stories more easily to religious personnel, especially religious sisters, who can build their trust in the legal process and provide them safe haven and other forms of assistance.”

 

To read the full post by Perry West of the Catholic News Agency: Click Here

Spain Sex Trafficking Case Lodged To U.N. Shows Lack Of Protection For Victims – Charity

LONDON, May 19 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The case of a Nigerian woman trafficked into Spain, who was later deported while pregnant, was presented to a United Nations rights committee on Friday to highlight the lack of protection for sex trafficking victims, a women’s legal charity said.

After being trafficked to Spain and forced into prostitution, Gladys John was detained by police in 2010 and deported just days later, said Women’s Link Worldwide, which represented John at the time.

The legal charity submitted John’s case to the U.N.’s Committee Against Torture on Friday, saying she was “tortured” as a sex trafficking victim and then “faced torture again” when she was detained instead of protected by the Spanish government.

“Trafficking victims should never be held in detention centres, since they are victims, not criminals. And they most certainly should not be deported, but protected,” Women’s Link attorney Teresa Fernandez Paredes said in a statement.

“Today we don’t know if Gladys John is alive or dead. Spain is responsible for her disappearance, because she placed her trust in the authorities, and the state failed her,” Paredes added.

To read the full story byLin Taylor on Thomson Reuters Foundation: Click Here

Holy See: ‘Migration Crisis, Human Trafficking A Crisis Of Humanity’

Msgr. Janusz Urbańczyk, Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) - RV
Msgr. Janusz Urbańczyk, Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) – RV
 
(Vatican Radio)  The Vatican’s permanent representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Msgr. Janusz Urbańczyk, has addressed three separate panels at the “17th Alliance against Trafficking in Persons Conference”.

The focus of the conference is on trafficking in children and is taking place in Vienna.

Msgr. Urbańczyk addressed the panels on “Human Trafficking Threats for Children in Crisis”, “Towards Effective Child Protection Systems to Fight Human Trafficking”, and “Looking forward: Guidelines for Policy Development and Implementation”.

At the heart of the Holy See’s message was a call to view the current migration crisis as a “crisis of humanity”.

“The Holy See wishes to reiterate once again that the current crisis of migrant and refugee flow is primarily, in the words of Pope Francis, a crisis of humanity. As such, it is vital that all actors recognise that above all ‘Migrants are not a danger, they are in danger’”.

Msgr. Urbańczyk also urged enhanced cooperation between governments and non-governmental organizations, as well as with members of the private sector.

“It is of great urgency to strengthen cooperation and coordination with NGOs that work in the areas of concern and know the context of poverty and vulnerability where situations of exploitation very often arise. It is also opportune to cooperate with the private sector, in particular with national and local companies, as well as with multinationals, so that they may adopt rigorous and law-abiding behavior.”

Pope Francis on Monday sent a message to the conference: click here to see it.

Please find below the three separate statements:

STATEMENT BY MSGR. JANUSZ URBAŃCZYK, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE HOLY SEE, AT THE 17TH ALLIANCE AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS CONFERENCE “TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS AND THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD”

To read the full story on Vatican Radio: Click Here

UN Chief: Human Trafficking a Problem in Many Conflict Zones

Outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Tuesday on all countries to investigate and prosecute cases of human trafficking and said the most vulnerable victims are women, children and refugees caught up in conflict areas around the globe.

Ban, addressing the 15-member Security Council during an open debate on human trafficking in conflict zones, said extremist groups from the Islamic State to Boko Haram and al-Shabab traffic in persons, especially women and girls, as a weapon of terror and source of revenue.

“We have to fight trafficking for the sake of the victims,” Ban said. “When we do, we will also decrease funding for terrorists — and make everyone safer.”

Ban, whose term as top U.N. official ends Dec. 31, spoke the same day the Security Council unanimously approved its first-ever draft resolution on human trafficking in conflict situations. The resolution seeks to strengthen the United Nation’s ability to counter the phenomenon and bolster the international community’s ability to respond to it.

Yuri Fedotov, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, said the building blocks for fighting international human trafficking can be found in the United Nations’ Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocol on the practice, which was adopted by the General Assembly and went into effect in 2003.

He said trafficking victims have been detected in 106 different countries and territories worldwide. The good news, he said, is that 158 countries have criminalized most forms of the practice in line with the protocol.

To read the full story by Dave Bryan of the Associated Press on ABC News: Click Here

New U.N. Role Needed To Fight Human Trafficking In Conflict: Experts

Refugees and migrants cross the Old Sava Bridge heading in the direction of the Croatian border, in Belgrade, Serbia November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
Refugees and migrants cross the Old Sava Bridge heading in the direction of the Croatian border, in Belgrade, Serbia November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – People displaced by war across the world are at heightened risk of human trafficking due to gaps in the United Nations’ response, campaigners said on Monday, calling for the creation of a new U.N. office to fight modern slavery.

Nearly 46 million people around the world are living as slaves, forced to work in factories, mines and farms, sold for sex, trapped in debt bondage or born into servitude, according to the 2016 Global Slavery Index by rights group Walk Free Foundation.

Refugees are considered particularly vulnerable as poverty, insecurity and the necessity to flee war push them in the arms of traffickers who often operate with impunity in conflict areas.

Almost half of migrants traveling to Italy from North Africa said they were forced to work against their will along the way, mainly in lawless Libya, a survey by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) published last month found.

The U.N.’s response to trafficking amid the global refugee crisis has been fragmented, according to a report by Freedom Fund, an international initiative to fight slavery.

Several agencies, including the U.N.’s refugee agency (UNHCR) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have taken steps to tackle different forms of trafficking, but with little coordination, the Freedom Fund said.

 To read the full story by Umberto Bacchi on Reuters: Click Here

Fight Against Human Trafficking Moving “Centre Stage”

A young Bangladeshi trafficking victim who was sold to a brothel. Photo : UNICEF-Shehzad Nooran

A young Bangladeshi trafficking victim who was sold to a brothel. Photo : UNICEF-Shehzad Noorani

The fight against human trafficking is increasingly moving “centre stage” as an issue for the international community, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, (UNODC).

The agency says that human trafficking affects every country of the world, as countries of origin, transit or destination.

Andita Listyarini reports.

UNODC says there are no firm figures for the number of people globally who are victims of human trafficking, although it does disproportionally affect women and children, who make up some 80 per cent of those trafficked.

Speaking at an event at the UN focusing on the ratification of the Palermo Protocol, an instrument to prevent, suppress and punish traffickers, the Executive-Director of UNODC, Yury Fedotov, said fighting crimes such as trafficking was critical to  meeting new development targets.

“The focus on crime is no longer on the periphery of building sustainable development; it is moving centre stage and it is increasingly being recognised as a significant barrier to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

According to UNODC, sexual exploitation is by far the most commonly identified form of human trafficking representing 79 per cent of all cases, followed by forced labour.

Andita Listyarini, United Nations.

Duration:1’02″

 

To download or listen to the story at United Nations Radio: Click Here

UN Report Proposes Action by Security Council, Private Sector on Human Trafficking in Conflict

NEW YORK, 8 SEPTEMBER 2016 – A report detailing ideas for action by the Security Council and the financial, technology and recruitment sectors to fight human trafficking in conflict was published today by the United Nations University (UNU), a United Nations think tank, and supported by the governments of the United Kingdom and Liechtenstein. The report, Fighting Human Trafficking in Conflict: 10 Ideas for Security Council Action, also identifies steps by which UN personnel in conflict zones could increase protection for potential victims, especially those displaced by conflict.

“With an estimated 45.8 million slaves alive today, modern slavery is one of the most significant human rights tragedies of our time. Conflict makes people especially vulnerable to exploitation and enslavement by groups like Da’esh/ISIL, and Boko Haram,” says Matthew Rycroft, CBE, UK Permanent Representative to the UN. “The United Kingdom is committed to working with international partners, including tech companies and other private sector actors, to address this scourge. We welcome the 10 concrete ideas for action proposed in this report and look forward to discussing them with our fellow members of the Security Council in the months ahead.”

Security Council members first took up the issue of human trafficking in conflict in December 2015 at the prompting of the United States and after hearing the heart-wrenching testimony of Nadia Murad Basee Taha, a Yazidi survivor of sexual enslavement by ISIL. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will release a report on this topic, which is expected to be formally debated in the Security Council in December. The UN University report provides ideas for consideration by UN member states prior to that debate.

To read or print the full press release: Click Here

The Holy See At The United Nations: Eliminating The Trafficking Of Children And Young People

Vatican City, 19 July 2016 – Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations, gave a speech on 13 July dedicated to the elimination of trafficking in children and young people, in the context of the current debate in the assembly on this theme.

“The Holy See has long spoken out against the evil of human trafficking, forced labour and all forms of modern slavery. And through the dedicated work of so many Catholic religious institutes, national and diocesan programs, and groups of faithful the Catholic Church has sought to fight to address its various causes, care for those it victimises, wake people up to the scourge, and work with anyone and everyone to try to eliminate it”.

He went on to note that Pope Francis had dedicated his Message for World Day of Peace 2015 to this theme, making it a priority of international diplomacy for the Holy See. He has spoken about it to newly accredited diplomats, to international religious leaders, to an alliance of international police chiefs and Church leaders, to social scientists and scholars, to mayors from across the globe, to judges and to various conferences throughout the world. “He hasn’t merely been talking”, the nuncio added. “He has been taking action, catalysing the Holy See’s hosting conferences, spearheading the 2014 Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders against Modern Slavery and willed the creation of the Santa Marta Group, named after his residence in the Vatican, which brings together Catholic leaders and international law enforcement officials to battle this scourge”.

The Holy Father’s essential message is that human trafficking is an “open wound on the body of contemporary society”, “a crime against humanity”, and an “atrocious scourge that is occurring in many of our own neighbourhoods”. “When he was here at the UN last September, he called for concrete steps and immediate measures for … putting an end as quickly as possible to the phenomenon of … human trafficking, … the sexual exploitation of boys and girls, [and] slave labour, including prostitution, stressing, ‘We need to ensure that our institutions are truly effective in the struggle against all these scourges'”. Archbishop Auza emphasised that to this end, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was an important sign of hope, insofar as it focused, in three different targets, on the world’s attention and commitment to confronting this plague.

To read the full bulletin from The Holy See Press Office: Click Here