Security Council Open Debate on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Forced Labour, Slavery, and Other Similar Practices - March 15

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Security Council Open Debate: Maintenance of International Peace and Security - Forced Labour, Slavery, and Other Similar Practices

March 15, 2017

C7DecT2WkAEw_Gf.jpg

Ilwad Elman Briefing the Security Council at the Open Debate on Forced labour, Slavery and Other Similar Practices. [Photo: Elman Peace & Human Rights Centre/Twitter]

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Debate Overview

The Security Council Open Debate entitled, “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Modern Slavery, Forced Labour, and Other Similar Practices” was convened by the Security Council’s current president, the United Kingdom, on 15 March 2017. At the meeting Member States underscored the pivotal nexus between conflict, displacement and human trafficking. To address the crisis affecting more than 21 million persons across the globe, nearly 80 percent of which are women and girls, the UN, Civil Society, and Member State representatives emphasised developing intervention mechanisms, improving intelligence sharing and tackling impunity. A handful of states drew critical links between military interventions, arms trades and sexual and gender-based violence, yet the issues addressed most frequently centred around securitised perceptions of development. The absence of women’s voices was all too apparent in the dialogue at Wednesday’s debate, which focused on women through the lens of victimisation and protection, rather than emphasising their agency as change-makers in society.

 

General Analysis:

A total of 77 statements were delivered at the debate. Prior to the Meeting the United Kingdom circulated a Concept Note directing Member States to focus their statements on how the Security Council can better address the issues of forced labour and human trafficking, promote greater multilateral cooperation in response efforts, and ensure accountability, among other points. The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres introduced the topic, offering insights regarding the human toll of these phenomena and calling for both greater prevention and response. The Civil Society representative Ilwad Elman, of the Elman Peace and Human Rights Center, briefed the Council via teleconference from Somalia, regarding the devastating scale of trafficking and sexual exploitation in her country. Elman described her first-hand experience working with trafficking survivors and brought vital attention to the dynamics of trafficking in conflict situations and refugee crises. Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), offered a criminological perspective on the issue, noting that traffickers benefit most from instability, vulnerability and the weak rule of law.  

Member State representatives echoed many of these points, calling for stronger cooperation between neighboring states, early victim identification procedures and placing victims at the center of solutions to trafficking and forced labour. A dominant theme throughout the discussion was the increased victimisation of civilian populations by terrorist organisations, which increasingly rely on forced labour and sexual exploitation to motivate recruitment and fund their missions. The representative of Iran emphasised the manner in which armed groups view civilians as economic commodities, a sentiment mirrored in the representative of Spain’s conceptualisation of trafficking as the ‘commercialisation of bodies’. The representative of Brazil called on Member States to address the root causes of conflict and recognise military intervention as a source of increased suffering and vulnerability among civilian populations. Similarly, the representative of the Holy See emphasised that the proliferation of arms facilitates and prolongs violent conflicts which exacerbate the conditions conducive to human trafficking.

A number of speakers at the debate, including the representatives of the Russian Federation and Belarus questioned the legitimacy of the Security Council as a proper platform for this discussion, on the basis that forced labour and slavery are not relevant to the entity’s security agenda. In doing so these speakers failed to recognise the indelible links between human security and sustainable peace.

Overall, securitised solutions prevailed in the day’s discussion: countering violent extremism, eradicating transnational criminal networks, enhanced intelligence sharing and punitive responses. This trend first demonstrates an oversimplification of the incredibly complex networks and actors involved in human trafficking, ranging from inanimate catalysts like globalisation, instability, poverty and consumerism, to the intersecting human dynamics of survivors and procurers, which are compounded by voluntary entry, debt bondage and familial complicity. Secondly, this trend indicates the misplaced impulse to respond to instability with militarism, which inevitably only increases insecurity and abuse.

 

Country Specific Situations

CountryM15.png

 

Many crises situations were highlighted throughout the debate, most commonly through the lens of extremism. The situations in Ukraine, Yemen and Libya were addressed in the context of instability, displacement and conflict, as was the single reference to Bosnia (from the representative of Albania) which highlighted the use of sexual exploitation as a weapon of war by combatants during the conflict of the 1990s. However references to situations in Iraq, Syria and Nigeria almost exclusively concerned the abuses of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) and Boko Haram. Some, such as the representative of the United States and the United Kingdom, called upon the stories of former captives to illustrate the situation faced by women and children in these regions. Others, such as the representative of Venezuela, highlighted the role of foreign intervention in the expansion of terrorist groups guilty of these crimes. Overall, references to country-specific situations were limited to brief illusory examples, wherein only a few speakers offered solutions moving forward. The representative of South Africa called on Member States to address development challenges to mitigate the situations in these states, while the representative of Turkey suggested fully implementing the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime.

 

Gender Analysis:

 

GenderM15.png

Of the 77 statements delivered at the debate, 67 (87 percent) speakers addressed issues relevant to women peace and security. As the data shows, the discussion regarding the WPS Agenda focused on protection and sexual and gender based violence. Speakers including the representatives of Bolivia, Pakistan, Germany and Panama all noted that 79 percent of trafficking victims are women and children, while a handful of others stressed that trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation was the most common form of forced labour. Many states emphasised that women and girls are particularly vulnerable in situations of conflict, humanitarian crisis, and both internal and external displacement. Representatives including those of Senegal, Indonesia, Portugal and Estonia, among others, highlighted that situations of conflict are not the cause of human trafficking and sexual and gender based violence, but merely exacerbate pre-existing discrimination and victimisation, which must be addressed.

As the general analysis indicates, particular attention was owed to the increasing use of human trafficking and slavery by extremist groups, this was particularly relevant in discussions of sexual and gender based violence, for which Da’esh and Boko Haram are well known.  Though multiple representatives called attention to both the impact of this issue on women and its nexus with conflict and instability, not a single speaker recognised the integral linkages between gender and conflict prevention. Similarly, despite references, such as the one made by the representative of South Africa, regarding the transfer of small arms and light weapons (SALW) along the same routes used by human traffickers, no connections between arms trades or the impact of SALW on the lives of women were drawn.

Encouragingly, the representatives of Sweden, Italy, Ireland, and the European Union emphasised the need to involve women in peacebuilding, policy development, and response efforts. The representative of  Norway echoed these calls and further advocated for the generation of sex-disaggregated data and bringing the voices of women forward in efforts to achieve SDG 16, a goal essential to ending forced labour and human trafficking. Additionally, 15 speakers (19 percent) suggested steps to close implementation gaps, including through the adoption of gender-specific provisions in trafficking policy, gender-sensitive training programmes, funding for state run women’s shelters, National Action Plans on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and the implementation of varying protocols in SDG 5 on Gender Equality.

Though far more states than average referenced issues relevant to the WPS agenda at this debate, the vast majority of references lacked substantive value. In statements almost exclusively concerned with women’s vulnerability and sexual exploitation, the role of women in this context was relegated to that of victimhood and the intersecting forms of discrimination experienced by women in conflict situations was reduced to a single issue. Both comprise an attempt to integrate women’s issues into the Council’s discussion on little more than a token basis, when it is meaningful dialogue and expertise which is required for progress.

 

Recommendations:

Participation:

The Security Council must integrate women’s participation and leadership into the core of peace and security efforts, including those related to countering transnational crimes such as trafficking and forced labour. The Council must call upon all stakeholders to remove obstacles and incentivize the effective participation of women, carefully track and report on progress in this field and institutionalise the participation and consultation of civil society and conflict-affected women in local, national and global decision-making processes.

Disarmament:

The Security Council must recognise the risk incurred through the proliferation and transfer of conventional arms being use to commit and facilitate acts of violence against women, including in human trafficking. The Council must urge the ratification and implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) with a focus on Article 7 (4): preventing GBV,  and encourage states to include binding provisions on preventing SGBV in national export regulations.

_______________________________________________________________________________

 

Statements:

The Meeting Record is available here.

 

States Represented at this meeting included:  

The United Kingdom, France, Sweden, United States, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, China, Japan, Italy, Egypt, Uruguay, United Kingdom, Argentina, Australia (on behalf of Canada and New Zealand), Indonesia, Romania, Czech Republic, Turkey, Norway, Colombia, Portugal, Brazil, Liechtenstein, Iran, Estonia, Hungary, Pakistan, Germany, Austria, Peru, Bangladesh, Poland, Belgium, Cambodia, South Africa, Albania, Namibia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Morocco, Venezuela, Slovakia, Panama, Iraq, Syria, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Philippines, Greece, Myanmar, Israel, Malaysia, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Azerbaijan, Uganda, Netherlands, Holy See, Thailand, Belarus, the Russian Federation, Bolivia, Senegal, Spain, Luxembourg, Ethiopia

UN Speakers:

Secretary-General, Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union, the African Union, and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

 

Resources: 

Concept Note: Security Council Open Debate on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Forced Labour, Slavery and Other Similar Practices

Statement of Ilwad Elman at the Security Council Open Debate on Forced Labour, Slavery and Other Similar Practices

Meeting Record: Security Council Open Debate on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Forced Labour, Slavery, and Other Similar Practices - March 15

Please choose

General Women, Peace and Security
  • Country

    Ethiopia
  • Extracts

    Many Africans, including women and children escaping from persecution and/or searching for a better life in Europe and the Middle East, are falling victims to terrorists and criminals.

  • Country

    Russia
  • Extracts

    The Council is already dealing with a number of similar cross-cutting issues, such as children and armed conflict, sexual violence in armed conflict, and women and peace and security. The victims of human trafficking, including women and children, annually run into the hundreds of thousands.

  • Country

    Egypt
  • Extracts

    Fourthly, human trafficking, particular the trafficking in women and girls, should not be linked to religion, nationality or civilization.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    It is mainly women and children who are targeted, and the international community must assume its responsibility to protect these populations. 

    The Rome Statute identifies trafficking in persons, women and children in particular, as a crime against humanity when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population and with knowledge of the attack. Justice, by its punitive and dissuasive nature, is indispensable to our collective action.

  • Country

    Czech Rep.
  • Extracts

    We are a target and transit country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and for men and women subjected to forced labour.

  • Country

    Turkey
  • Extracts

    It is also important to emphasize that the terrorist organization of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the Democratic Union Party (PKK/PYD) also widely employs methods that exploit human beings, particularly through the forced recruitment of children and young women.

  • Speaker

    African Union
  • Extracts

    According to the International Labour Organization, there are over 21 million children, women and men living in modern slavery, of whom approximately 3.7 million are to be found in Africa. We have an estimated 3.7 million African men, women and children still trapped in forced labour and working under extreme coercion, largely in the informal economy.

  • Speaker

    Holy See
  • Extracts

    As Pope Francis has noted several times, even though the international community has adopted numerous agreements and individual countries have adopted laws aimed at ending slavery in all its forms, even though various strategies to combat that phenomenon have been launched at both the national and the international levels, much more still needs to be done on the level of raising public awareness and effecting a better coordination of efforts by Governments, the judiciary, law-enforcement officials and social workers to save the millions of children, women and men who are still deprived of freedom and are forced to live in slave-like conditions.

  • Country

    Cambodia
  • Extracts

    As exemplified by the way in which non-State armed groups operate, connections between armed conflict and human trafficking are multifaceted. Non-State armed groups openly advocate for the enslavement of women and children in the attainment of their misguided objectives.

  • Country

    Georgia
  • Extracts

    Human trafficking is a global problem affecting the most vulnerable: women, children, internally displaced persons, refugees and minorities.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    The link between conflicts and trafficking in persons is clear, as indicated by the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, in her latest report to the Human Rights Council (A/71/303). The law also includes sentencing and preventive measures to protect victims and convict the perpetrators, with strengthened sentencing against the perpetrators of crimes against children, pregnant women and people in fragile situations.

  • Country

    Venezuela
  • Extracts

    The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela believes that it is necessary to point out that crimes of human trafficking, violence, sexual abuse and exploitation, modern slavery and forced labour are, from any standpoint, despicable practices that we firmly condemn, in particular because they have proliferated and spread in ongoing situations of armed conflict throughout the world, especially those promoted by terrorist groups and other violent non-State actors operating in the Middle East and North Africa, such as Da’esh, the Al-Nusra Front and Boko Haram. The terrorist actions carried out by these organizations have caused a human tragedy, whose main victims have unfortunately been the most vulnerable — women, girls, boys — who have been caught up in wars that they did not start and have become commodities for these criminal trafficking networks. 

    Venezuela will never relent in its demands on the various actors of the international community to put an end to the supply of financial and logistical support and weapons to terrorist groups and other violent non-State actors that promote the crime of trafficking in persons, enslaving men and women and using them as active participants in armed conflicts, exploiting them in numerous ways and exacerbating the cycle of suffering and death. They are the ones who are primarily responsible for the excesses of war, causing the massive flows of refugees, sexual exploitation against civilians, forced labour and modern slavery.

  • Country

    Slovakia
  • Extracts

    The problem is global, affecting poor and rich countries alike. Today’s debate is also timely as it is takes place in conjunction with the ongoing sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Women and girls are the most targeted group in terms of human trafficking and exploitation. Human trafficking takes many different forms and targets men, women, girls and boys alike.

  • Country

    Myanmar
  • Extracts

    The problem of trafficking is woven into many other challenges: conflict, terrorism, organized crime, extreme poverty, sexual violence against women and young girls and migrant smuggling.

  • Country

    Azerbaijan
  • Extracts

    Among the issues requiring attention in the context of human trafficking, forced labour, modern slavery, organ removal and other similar practices is that of civilians, including women and children, taken hostage or reported missing in connection with armed conflict. Azerbaijan continues its consistent efforts in that regard, including through the relevant biennial resolutions of the General Assembly and the Commission on the Status of Women, of which my country is a main sponsor.

Participation
  • Country

    Sweden
  • Extracts

    Finally, we must enable women and girls to make decisions about their own bodies, lives and futures in all contexts. We must engage more women both in peacebuilding activities and in action against trafficking. By implementing the agenda on women and peace and security, we can ensure that women’s voices, experiences and solutions are brought to the table. Gender equality is about human rights.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Women account for more than half of all victims of trafficking at the global level. Children are especially exposed to exploitation as they are increasingly compelled to leave their homes alone. In 2016 alone, approximately 26,000 unaccompanied or separated minors reached Italy by sea, thereby more than doubling the numbers recorded in 2015. Empowering women and enhancing their role in peacebuilding is crucial. We are launching the creation of a network of women mediators in the Mediterranean aimed at fostering stability, security and respect for human rights in the Mediterranean, which we think will contribute to combating human trafficking and all forms of slavery and related abuses. As a first step, we are organizing with the United Kingdom presidency an Arria formula meeting on the subject on 27 March.

  • Country

    Norway
  • Extracts

    The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development gives us an important platform to tackle trafficking in a more holistic manner. Sustainable Development Goal 16, on peaceful societies, specifically calls for the end of abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children. Implementation of the women and peace and security agenda brings women’s voices and experience to the table. Again, the peace, security and development architecture needs to be coherent and mutually supportive.

    In line with Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000) and 2250 (2015), we also need to engage more women and young people in both peacebuilding activities and actions to combat human trafficking.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    Victims of trafficking, especially women and children, are vulnerable to prostitution, forced labour, servitude, forced marriages and even the use of sexual violence as a weapon of conflict.

    Therefore, Namibia believes that using the guiding principles of the women and peace and security agenda can also enhance the effectiveness of the Security Council and the whole United Nations system in its coordinated efforts in tackling trafficking in persons, forced labour and modern slavery. The global study on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), for instance, has shown that women peacekeepers elicit positive responses from victims of sexual exploitation, rape, forced marriage and even trafficking. The United Nations systems should therefore work to ensure the inclusion of women peacekeepers and improve victim access to them.

    Namibia has also been a strong proponent of female negotiators in conflict resolution. In that regard, the Council can play an essential role by insisting that delegations are gender-balanced. In that context, we commend Secretary-General Guterres for his strong and consistent appeal for Member States to include more women in United Nations missions.

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    This is an issue that affects more than 21 million people worldwide, more than 5 million of them women and children, and it is therefore incumbent on us to do everything we can to address it. First responders must be sensitized in order to ensure that victims, especially women and girls, receive the medical and psychosocial care that they urgently need. The effects on women and girls can be particularly harrowing. This does not simply entail instituting extra security and response measures; it also means ensuring women’s participation in policies and programmes aimed at combating and preventing human trafficking.

Protection
  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    For France, the issue of trafficking in human beings and slavery, especially that of women and children, is of major importance. The statistics are, unfortunately, well known, but we must constantly point them out: 80 per cent of the victims of trafficking are women and children.

  • Country

    Ethiopia
  • Extracts

    It is only appropriate that we are discussing this important issue at a time when the sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women is taking place here at Headquarters. It is indeed women, children and refugees who are the most vulnerable victims of human trafficking in conflict situations. As the concept note (S/2017/198, annex) rightly points out, this scourge is imposed on women and children through early and forced marriage, exploitative domestic work, sexual violence and other similar practices.

    Finally, the lack of durable solutions to internally displaced persons and refugees, particularly women and children, no doubt increases their vulnerability to trafficking in persons.

  • Country

    Ukraine
  • Extracts

    I particularly deplore the hypocrisy and lip service that many Governments display with regard to the plight of the women and girls who are major victims of human trafficking. I urge that they abandon such behaviour and get down to business.

    Trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation is still the most widespread form of trafficking, and the majority of its victims are women and girls. That is why we need to think about a more gender-specific, targeted approach in all actions against trafficking.

    In that regard, Ukraine fully supports the commitments in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants to combatting human trafficking, including through targeted measures to identify, protect and assist victims, and to prevent human trafficking among those affected by displacement, taking into account the particular vulnerabilities of women and children.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    Victims are often subject to forced labour and slavery and vulnerable groups, including women and children bear the brunt.

    The international community should uphold uniform counter-terrorism standards; take coordinated and concerted action; exercise zero tolerance against terrorism and resolutely address crimes of trafficking, exploitation and enslavement of populations in conflict situations, in particular women and children; take an integrated approach that encompasses political and economic means and stop the financial flow of funds obtained from enslavement and human trafficking to terrorist organizations; and dismantle their criminal networks.

    We need to give greater weight to the prevention of conflicts and help countries to improve their ability to achieve sustainable development, consolidate a basis for peace and root out the conditions and drivers for human trafficking and enslavement in conflict situations, so as to provide an enabling external environment for the protection of women and children in conflict situations.

    China will continue to support the international community in exercising a zero-tolerance policy against human trafficking in armed conflict and enhancing the protection of the rights of women and children in armed conflict.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Women account for more than half of all victims of trafficking at the global level. Children are especially exposed to exploitation as they are increasingly compelled to leave their homes alone. In 2016 alone, approximately 26,000 unaccompanied or separated minors reached Italy by sea, thereby more than doubling the numbers recorded in 2015. Empowering women and enhancing their role in peacebuilding is crucial. We are launching the creation of a network of women mediators in the Mediterranean aimed at fostering stability, security and respect for human rights in the Mediterranean, which we think will contribute to combating human trafficking and all forms of slavery and related abuses. As a first step, we are organizing with the United Kingdom presidency an Arria formula meeting on the subject on 27 March.

  • Country

    Uruguay
  • Extracts

    The traffic in people affects all sectors of the population, but there are certain social groups that suffer disproportionately. In this context, and as reported by Unodc, almost one-third of victims are children and more than 70 per cent are girls and women.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    It is mainly women and children who are targeted, and the international community must assume its responsibility to protect these populations. 

    The Rome Statute identifies trafficking in persons, women and children in particular, as a crime against humanity when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population and with knowledge of the attack. Justice, by its punitive and dissuasive nature, is indispensable to our collective action.

  • Country

    Spain
  • Extracts

    Resolution 2331 (2016), put forward by Spain here at the Security Council, strengthens the legal framework in various areas, including with regard to sanctions, accountability, financial flows, and protection and assistance to victims, paying special attention to women and girls, especially when trafficked for sexual exploitation — and without forgetting that men and boys are also victims of trafficking. Spain is committed to the fight against trafficking in persons and sexual slavery.

  • Country

    Indonesia
  • Extracts

    The trafficking of vulnerable people, especially women and children, who should be protected in conflict situations, is a dreadful crime. Trafficking in persons is a serious violation of human rights that must continue to be condemned in the strongest sense possible. There is an immediate obligation to identify and provide safety and protection to victims of human trafficking while addressing the needs of vulnerable groups, including women and children, and taking into account prevailing national laws and circumstances.

  • Country

    Colombia
  • Extracts

    The statements we have heard this morning paint a picture of the horror that millions of people suffer due to trafficking of persons in armed conflicts and the challenges that the international community confronts in effectively addressing that phenomenon, which especially afflicts women and children. The trafficking of persons is the slavery of our times. It is not only an abomination of the past; millions of people today live in conditions of slavery. Most trafficking victims are vulnerable women and children, almost always tricked or abducted and forced to live a life of suffering, exploitation, torture or servitude.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    Human trafficking and slavery in all their forms are among the most despicable crimes known to humanity, as they affect those most vulnerable, such as migrants and internally displaced persons, especially women and girls. When committed in conflict situations, such acts might even amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity. The victims of these crimes are often subjected to organ harvesting, sexual exploitation, forced labour or forced marriage.

  • Speaker

    Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
  • Extracts

    People on the move, especially women and children, are particularly at risk of falling into the hands of human traffickers. We owe that to children, but also to men and women everywhere, regardless of age, status, origin or, indeed, whether they are fleeing crisis or not.

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    Trafficking is gender-specific. The most recent EU data show that trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation continues to be the most widespread form encountered by authorities, and the majority of its victims are women and girls. We are also prioritizing activity in connection with counter-terrorism, working with partners throughout the world to address threats from all terrorist organizations, including those like Da’esh and Boko Haram, which have clearly and quite publicly exploited and trafficked women and girls for their own objectives. We need to understand further the links between terrorist organizations and the organized criminal groups that carry out the trafficking of people and other illicit commodities. We need to actively pursue an agenda to increase women’s participation in peace processes and in encountering violent extremism so as to ensure effective measures and solutions.

  • Country

    Liechtenstein
  • Extracts

    The International Organization for Migration estimates that up to 76 per cent of them have fallen victim to practices amounting to human trafficking. Women and children usually bear the brunt of those crimes. Over 70 per cent of trafficking victims are women and girls. This is why it is particularly important to explore the gender dimensions of modern slavery — which was the main topic of a ministerial-level side event organized jointly by the United Kingdom, Nigeria and Liechtenstein this past Monday.

  • Country

    Estonia
  • Extracts

    Secondly, the international community needs to scale up protection efforts to ensure that those affected by conflict situations, especially women and girls, do not become vulnerable to traffickers. To achieve this, Estonia calls for better coordination among stakeholders and institutions. The Security Council could lead this process and foster greater normative, operational and strategic coherence across the United Nations system on the topic by engaging directly with relevant United Nations mandate holders, including the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, and the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and its consequences, the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and for Children and Armed Conflict, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other relevant agencies.

  • Country

    Pakistan
  • Extracts

    My delegation wishes to thank the United Kingdom presidency for convening today’s debate, which derives added importance now, given the current annual session of the Commission on the Status of Women. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 79 per cent, almost 80 per cent, of the victims of trafficking are women and children, which is why combating that menace is both urgent and critical.

    Large sections of the respective populations, especially women and children, remain especially vulnerable.

    The scourge of slavery is an abomination, for it perpetuates the domination and degradation of human life. Modern slavery, unlike its traditional form, does not seek to own people. Rather, it aims to control them by exploiting their lives or the fruits of their labour. Sexual slavery in conflict situations, the trafficking of women and girls, and bonded and forced labour are all manifestations of that evil.

    Heinous crimes such as the enslavement of women and children, their sexual exploitation and their recruitment in armed groups are an outrage, not only to all norms of international law, but also to humankind itself. We must work together to find an end to that perversion.

  • Country

    Austria
  • Extracts

    Trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation still constitutes more than half of all trafficking cases, and women and girls are overwhelmingly affected by it. Violence against women, sexual exploitation and forced marriage — as often displayed in conflict settings — illustrate that gender inequality forms part of the overall problem.

  • Country

    Peru
  • Extracts

    My delegation sponsored it because we believed that it contributes to rendering more visible the horror in which thousands of men, women and children live as victims of forced labour, slavery and other similar practices, committed by terrorist organizations that are linked in networks of transnational organized crime. By integrated, we mean that there should be a holistic approach to prevention, to the prosecution of those responsible and to assistance to their victims, particularly the most vulnerable, such as children, adolescents and women.

  • Country

    Belgium
  • Extracts

    First, how can the United Nations and its Member States better address vulnerable women and girls, children, and displaced persons? 

    On the second issue, the fight against impunity is a core component of our national action plan on women, peace, and security. One of the priorities of the plan is the protection of women and girls from all forms of violence, including sexual violence. This is a topic that we also address in our commission on the status of women. Since human trafficking during conflicts is often for sexual exploitation, a section of the action plan details several concrete actions for those cases, including support for and cooperation with bilateral partners in order to embed attention for and expertise on the matter in national police and justice apparatuses, and the promotion of practical international legal cooperation tools.

  • Country

    Cambodia
  • Extracts

    Human trafficking affects women, children and men, subjecting people to cruel forced labour and sexual exploitation. The victims of human trafficking, particularly women and children, have a fundamental right to be protected in accordance with international law. In this context, it is necessary to ensure the provision of medical and psychological services to victims of sex trafficking and forced labour trafficking, while ensuring economic support to trafficking victims through training and job-placement programmes.

  • Country

    Albania
  • Extracts

    It is evident that the most vulnerable people are those caught in conflict: women, children, refugees.

  • Country

    Bulgaria
  • Extracts

    Trafficking is a gendered phenomenon, and the majority of the victims are women and girls. In Bulgaria, as elsewhere in the world, the majority of victims trafficked for sexual exploitation are women and girls. In view of that, the national anti-trafficking commission of Bulgaria provides specialized assistance to women victims of trafficking in three Government- funded shelters.

  • Country

    Slovakia
  • Extracts

    The problem is global, affecting poor and rich countries alike. Today’s debate is also timely as it is takes place in conjunction with the ongoing sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Women and girls are the most targeted group in terms of human trafficking and exploitation. Human trafficking takes many different forms and targets men, women, girls and boys alike.

  • Country

    Panama
  • Extracts

    The report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of measures to counter trafficking in persons (S/2016/949) has revealed that traffickers mainly take advantage of women, young people and boys and girls, in particular those traveling alone, making that group account for 79 per cent of the victims of a terrible crime that affects all countries.

  • Country

    Iraq
  • Extracts

    In addition, the Iraqi Constitution contains articles that prohibit forced labour, slavery and trafficking in women and children.

     

    Trafficking in persons, slavery and forced labour are practices that help to finance terrorist groups. Da’esh criminal gangs have kidnapped thousands of Iraqi citizens, in particular Yazidi women and children and have exposed them to human trafficking and slavery.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    It is a complex threat that targets vulnerable groups, particularly women and children, in addition to persons with disabilities and the elderly.

  • Country

    United Arab Emirates
  • Extracts

    The exploitation of the vulnerable, particularly women, is fundamentally tied to extremist ideologies that pose an existential threat to our region and our way of life.

    In order to tackle this global phenomenon, we have to start with what is possible within our national borders and build on that effort with others in a network of coalitions. As a champion of gender equality, the United Arab Emirates is particularly concerned about the disproportionate impact that this crime has on women and girls. So we have beefed up our support for victims, whether women, men or children, by opening shelters across the Emirates that offer medical, psychological and social assistance, and by establishing a private fund to support victims’ recovery and resettlement.

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    This is an issue that affects more than 21 million people worldwide, more than 5 million of them women and children, and it is therefore incumbent on us to do everything we can to address it. First responders must be sensitized in order to ensure that victims, especially women and girls, receive the medical and psychosocial care that they urgently need. The effects on women and girls can be particularly harrowing. This does not simply entail instituting extra security and response measures; it also means ensuring women’s participation in policies and programmes aimed at combating and preventing human trafficking.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    That is further compounded by the fact that vulnerable groups such as women, children, refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons are the most susceptible to human trafficking in conflict situations. Furthermore, women and youth, the most vulnerable groups to human trafficking, are also high on the agenda of the PBC.

  • Country

    Djibouti
  • Extracts

    Sadly, we witness all too frequently a tragedy affecting thousands of persons, particularly women and children. Over 90,000 men, women and children from neighbouring countries transit through Djibouti en route to Yemen and other locations in the Middle East.

  • Country

    Philippines
  • Extracts

    Realizing the increased vulnerability of populations in conflict areas, the Government has activated a structure called the gender-based violence cluster, composed mainly of law enforcers and social welfare service providers who specialize in gender issues, and civil society representatives. The cluster is tasked to address the needs of women and children in conflict situations, especially in mitigating vulnerabilities to sexual violence and trafficking.

  • Country

    Nigeria
  • Extracts

    Today, it is estimated that more than 60 million women, children and men are fleeing conflicts, escaping wars or seeking a better life. Having established that most victims of trafficking are women and girls, it is only appropriate for our responses to include special attention to their rights.

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    Women and girls in particular are targeted again and again and again. We see brutal sexual exploitation, including forced prostitution, forced marriage and sexual slavery. Smugglers often coerce and manipulate individuals for profit and make them victims of sex or labour trafficking. Terrorists and violent extremists use sexual enslavement as a tool for recruitment. I continue to take steps to strengthen our efforts to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse committed under the United Nations flag. The 2030 Agenda for sustainable Development can also help us break the chains of exploitation. Three of the goals explicitly address human trafficking, including sex trafficking, forced labour, child labour and the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

  • Country

    Sweden
  • Extracts

    As the Secretary-General has previously reported, there is a clear nexus between conflict- and post- conflict-related sexual violence and human trafficking, such as sexual slavery, forced labour and organ removal. The list is long. I will, however, focus on sexual exploitation predominantly targeting women, and girls and boys.

  • Country

    United States of America
  • Extracts

    Rama was looking for a better life. A young woman in war-torn Syria, Rama was working in a café when a man offered her a restaurant job in Lebanon with a much higher salary. She jumped at the opportunity, but instead of taking her to the well-paying job he had promised, the man took Rama to a run-down brothel in a slum. Over the next nine months, she was beaten and forced into prostitution, one of as many as 75 women caught up in one of Lebanon’s largest sex-trafficking rings. As Rama told a reporter, “We slept where we worked ... The windows were painted black. We couldn’t see the light or breathe the air outside.”

    Describing her captor, the ringleader of the trafficking operation, she said, “It’s not that he made us feel like slaves. We were actual slaves ... He beat me until I surrendered”.

    Rama eventually escaped that horror, but she is physically and emotionally shattered. And Rama is not alone. Sadly, her experience is far more common than most of us realize. An estimated 21 million people in more than 106 countries, including countless children, have been reported trapped in modern slavery. That is more than the population of Romania. Those are people living in some of the most horrifying conditions imaginable. We see children forced to make bricks in Peru, or disentangle fishing nets in Ghana, or who are sold into prostitution in South- East Asia. We see men held captive on fishing boats off the coast of Thailand, and women trapped as domestic workers in the Persian Gulf. No country is immune to this crisis, and that includes the United States, where, despite our efforts to combat human trafficking, too many people are still falling victim to criminals who force them into prostitution or other types of work, with no pay and no way out.

  • Country

    Ukraine
  • Extracts

    I particularly deplore the hypocrisy and lip service that many Governments display with regard to the plight of the women and girls who are major victims of human trafficking. I urge that they abandon such behaviour and get down to business.

    Trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation is still the most widespread form of trafficking, and the majority of its victims are women and girls. That is why we need to think about a more gender-specific, targeted approach in all actions against trafficking.

    In that regard, Ukraine fully supports the commitments in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants to combatting human trafficking, including through targeted measures to identify, protect and assist victims, and to prevent human trafficking among those affected by displacement, taking into account the particular vulnerabilities of women and children.

  • Country

    Kazakhstan
  • Extracts

    Preventing sexual exploitation and abuse, especially when perpetrated by peacekeepers, must be a priority.

  • Country

    Senegal
  • Extracts

    The resurgence of the phenomenon of human trafficking in armed conflict situations is all the more troubling since it leads to the forced marriage and sexual or domestic enslavement of women and girls, and to men and boys being trafficked into forced labour, if not enslaved outright or turned into combatants.

    Therefore, it is clear that human trafficking can be described as — to use the term of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children — an “umbrella concept” for practices that are all equally inhuman and barbaric in nature.

  • Country

    Bolivia
  • Extracts

    According to the 2016 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 79 per cent of the victims of human trafficking are women and children, with a clear example being the Yazidi women and girls who were submitted to various kinds of slavery and torture by the so-called Islamic State. Due to that situation, a lot of them have had to leave their countries of origin to find more favourable living conditions. Similarly, against the backdrop of the sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which is now under way, we are deeply concerned to note that, according to the UNODC report I just mentioned, 20 per cent of the victims of forced labour and 72 per cent of those of sexual exploitation are women — a situation that clearly cannot be ignored. My country, too, is a victim of such crimes, in particular sexual exploitation and forced labour.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    We therefore strongly support the Secretary-General in following up on resolution 2331 (2016) by systematizing the action of subsidiary organs involved in counter- terrorism and sanctions, specialized agencies and the Special Rapporteur entrusted with preparing a detailed study on the difficulties of establishing guilt and/or responsibilities with regard to crimes of sexual violence and the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children.

  • Country

    Russia
  • Extracts

    The proceeds of human trafficking are used as sources of financing for terrorism, compounding the threat to international peace and security. Crimes in that sphere are often accompanied by equally deleterious phenomena such as abduction, sexual violence and the proliferation of narcotics.

    As to the modern forms of human trafficking, we must address the root causes and take consistent measures against criminal groups. In that context, a not inconsiderable role is played by the demand for black market labour and the legalization of the sex industry in consumer countries.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    This should be a familiar tale to the Council. We heard it ourselves in north-eastern Nigeria only last week. We saw it in the hands in the air when we asked the women there whether they had lost a child to Boko Haram. We saw it in their tears as they spoke of abducted daughters, of mass rapes, of grandchildren being born only to be enslaved. In response, we need a more forceful and unified United Nations approach to human trafficking, modern slavery and forced labour. We look forward to the Secretary-General’s report in November on exactly that, and we encourage him to focus on making existing structures, including the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons, work effectively.

    We know what follows: sexual exploitation and sexual slavery, forced labour and child labour, human rights in tatters, conflict exploited and conflict sustained.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    Also, in July 2016 we convened for the first time the Federal Council for Combating Trafficking, which I have the honor of coordinating, with the aim of designing a federal strategy to eradicate human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women in prostitution.

  • Country

    Australia
  • Extracts

    Eradicating slavery and sexual violence, in particular in conflict situations, is an essential precondition for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and must be addressed as a matter of urgency.

    Canada has taken a strong stance on the prevention of all forms of exploitation and violence against women and girls in situations of conflict. In particular, Canada will welcome approximately 1,200 vulnerable Yazidi women and children who have been subjected to the most heinous forms of sexual exploitation.New Zealand has secured a landmark trafficking conviction, which resulted in a substantial sentence and an order to pay reparations.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    A draft law that aims to punish the clients of victims of trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation is being considered by Parliament. Let us recall here the words (see S/PV.7685) of Ms. Nadia Murad Basee Taha, who exposed the sexual slavery perpetrated by Da’esh against civilian populations, in particular Yazidis in Iraq.

  • Country

    Spain
  • Extracts

    Resolution 2331 (2016), put forward by Spain here at the Security Council, strengthens the legal framework in various areas, including with regard to sanctions, accountability, financial flows, and protection and assistance to victims, paying special attention to women and girls, especially when trafficked for sexual exploitation — and without forgetting that men and boys are also victims of trafficking. Spain is committed to the fight against trafficking in persons and sexual slavery.

  • Country

    Czech Rep.
  • Extracts

    We are a target and transit country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and for men and women subjected to forced labour.

  • Country

    Turkey
  • Extracts

    In the crises in our region, criminal and terrorist networks resort to different forms of exploitation of human beings and commit gender-based sexual violence and the forced recruitment of adults and children to fund and sustain their operations.

  • Country

    Norway
  • Extracts

    Women and children are particularly exposed to trafficking, often in the form of sexual slavery and forced labour or recruitment as child soldiers. The Secretary-General’s report on conflict-related sexual violence (S/2016/361) confirms the existence of an evolving criminal infrastructure designed to exploit refugees and migrants through human trafficking, and sexual slavery. We also need better gender-disaggregated data and documentation in order to develop effective responses and services for female and male victims of sexual exploitation.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    Every year, millions of men, women and children are victims of being trafficked for various kinds of abuses and exploitation. We note with concern the increasing trend of trafficking in persons, particularly women and girls, in situations of conflict-related sexual violence used as a tactic of war by violent extremist groups.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    Human trafficking and slavery in all their forms are among the most despicable crimes known to humanity, as they affect those most vulnerable, such as migrants and internally displaced persons, especially women and girls. When committed in conflict situations, such acts might even amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity. The victims of these crimes are often subjected to organ harvesting, sexual exploitation, forced labour or forced marriage.

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    Trafficking is gender-specific. The most recent EU data show that trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation continues to be the most widespread form encountered by authorities, and the majority of its victims are women and girls. We are also prioritizing activity in connection with counter-terrorism, working with partners throughout the world to address threats from all terrorist organizations, including those like Da’esh and Boko Haram, which have clearly and quite publicly exploited and trafficked women and girls for their own objectives. We need to understand further the links between terrorist organizations and the organized criminal groups that carry out the trafficking of people and other illicit commodities. We need to actively pursue an agenda to increase women’s participation in peace processes and in encountering violent extremism so as to ensure effective measures and solutions.

  • Country

    Liechtenstein
  • Extracts

    It identified a correlation between human trafficking, sexual violence, armed conflict, terrorism and transnational organized crime. It also highlighted the gender-specific implications of human trafficking in conflict.

  • Country

    Iran
  • Extracts

    The nexus between conflict-related situations and human trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery and other similar practices and their cross-border dynamics have been well recognized and acknowledged by the Secretary-General in his report (S/2016/949) as a global challenge.

  • Country

    Iran
  • Extracts

    They are subjected to widespread targeting and killing of ethnic and religious minorities, abductions and cross-border trafficking of women and children, internally displaced and refugee women and girls, as well as forced marriages to fighters or wealthy foreigners, as in cases involving Da’esh, Boko Haram and similar terrorist and extremist groups.

  • Country

    Estonia
  • Extracts

    Secondly, the international community needs to scale up protection efforts to ensure that those affected by conflict situations, especially women and girls, do not become vulnerable to traffickers. To achieve this, Estonia calls for better coordination among stakeholders and institutions. The Security Council could lead this process and foster greater normative, operational and strategic coherence across the United Nations system on the topic by engaging directly with relevant United Nations mandate holders, including the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, and the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and its consequences, the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and for Children and Armed Conflict, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other relevant agencies.

  • Country

    Pakistan
  • Extracts

    My delegation wishes to thank the United Kingdom presidency for convening today’s debate, which derives added importance now, given the current annual session of the Commission on the Status of Women. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 79 per cent, almost 80 per cent, of the victims of trafficking are women and children, which is why combating that menace is both urgent and critical.

    Large sections of the respective populations, especially women and children, remain especially vulnerable.

    The scourge of slavery is an abomination, for it perpetuates the domination and degradation of human life. Modern slavery, unlike its traditional form, does not seek to own people. Rather, it aims to control them by exploiting their lives or the fruits of their labour. Sexual slavery in conflict situations, the trafficking of women and girls, and bonded and forced labour are all manifestations of that evil.

    Heinous crimes such as the enslavement of women and children, their sexual exploitation and their recruitment in armed groups are an outrage, not only to all norms of international law, but also to humankind itself. We must work together to find an end to that perversion.

  • Speaker

    Holy See
  • Extracts

    As long as wars and conflicts rage, the trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation, forced labour and similar crimes will continue to flourish.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    Women and children are particularly vulnerable to this risk; they make up, in fact, 79 per cent of all detected trafficking victims. We must follow a comprehensive, multidisciplinary and cross-border approach. We must increase synergies among United Nations agencies and develop a comprehensive joint United Nations response that includes the Special Representatives of the Secretary- General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and on Children and Armed Conflict. On a more general note, in 2016, we passed legislation to strengthen the protection of women and children.

  • Country

    Austria
  • Extracts

    Trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation still constitutes more than half of all trafficking cases, and women and girls are overwhelmingly affected by it. Violence against women, sexual exploitation and forced marriage — as often displayed in conflict settings — illustrate that gender inequality forms part of the overall problem.

  • Country

    Poland
  • Extracts

    According to International Labour Organization (ILO) data, today almost 21 million people are victims of forced labour. Of those exploited by individuals or enterprises, 4.5 million are victims of forced sexual exploitation.

  • Country

    Belgium
  • Extracts

    First, how can the United Nations and its Member States better address vulnerable women and girls, children, and displaced persons? 

    On the second issue, the fight against impunity is a core component of our national action plan on women, peace, and security. One of the priorities of the plan is the protection of women and girls from all forms of violence, including sexual violence. This is a topic that we also address in our commission on the status of women. Since human trafficking during conflicts is often for sexual exploitation, a section of the action plan details several concrete actions for those cases, including support for and cooperation with bilateral partners in order to embed attention for and expertise on the matter in national police and justice apparatuses, and the promotion of practical international legal cooperation tools.

  • Country

    Cambodia
  • Extracts

    Human trafficking affects women, children and men, subjecting people to cruel forced labour and sexual exploitation. The victims of human trafficking, particularly women and children, have a fundamental right to be protected in accordance with international law. In this context, it is necessary to ensure the provision of medical and psychological services to victims of sex trafficking and forced labour trafficking, while ensuring economic support to trafficking victims through training and job-placement programmes.

  • Country

    South Africa
  • Extracts

    The particular impact that the trafficking in persons in situations of armed conflict has on women and children, increasing their vulnerability to gender- based and sexual violence, is of particular concern.

  • Country

    Albania
  • Extracts

    During the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, sexual violence was systematically used to strike terror and humiliation into civilian populations. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Sham, Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab are using human trafficking and sexual violence, with full impunity, as a weapon of terror, but also as an important source of revenue, with low risk and extraordinary profit.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    Victims of trafficking, especially women and children, are vulnerable to prostitution, forced labour, servitude, forced marriages and even the use of sexual violence as a weapon of conflict.

    Therefore, Namibia believes that using the guiding principles of the women and peace and security agenda can also enhance the effectiveness of the Security Council and the whole United Nations system in its coordinated efforts in tackling trafficking in persons, forced labour and modern slavery. The global study on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), for instance, has shown that women peacekeepers elicit positive responses from victims of sexual exploitation, rape, forced marriage and even trafficking. The United Nations systems should therefore work to ensure the inclusion of women peacekeepers and improve victim access to them.

    Namibia has also been a strong proponent of female negotiators in conflict resolution. In that regard, the Council can play an essential role by insisting that delegations are gender-balanced. In that context, we commend Secretary-General Guterres for his strong and consistent appeal for Member States to include more women in United Nations missions.

  • Country

    Bulgaria
  • Extracts

    Trafficking is a gendered phenomenon, and the majority of the victims are women and girls. In Bulgaria, as elsewhere in the world, the majority of victims trafficked for sexual exploitation are women and girls. In view of that, the national anti-trafficking commission of Bulgaria provides specialized assistance to women victims of trafficking in three Government- funded shelters.

  • Country

    Panama
  • Extracts

    Some 60 per cent of the victims of trafficking are foreigners from the country with which they identify and the majority are migrants for sexual exploitation, forced labour and modern-day slavery.

    We must insist on, promote and monitor the United Nations zero-tolerance policy towards sexual offenses, as a clear sign of the serious commitment and political will of all its constituent bodies and staff as well as its Member States.

  • Country

    Iraq
  • Extracts

    Iraq calls upon member States to implement the relevant resolutions, including resolutions 2195 (2014) and 2242 (2015). In those two resolutions, the Council indicated that sexual violence is a part of the strategic and ideological objectives advocated by terrorist groups.

     

    In order to implement those two resolutions, Iraq started work with the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, and those efforts led to the signing of a joint statement with Ms. Zainab Bangura on 23 September 2016 at United Nations Headquarters.

  • Country

    Syria
  • Extracts

    It is linked to the spread of terrorism, which exploits the most vulnerable in communities, in particular women and children who are victimized and fall into the trap of slavery, sexual exploitation, forced labour and trafficking in human organs. Syrians in the areas under the control of armed terrorist groups are enslaved. Women are being abducted and are forced to marry terrorists, especially foreign terrorist fighters. Those terrorist groups have issued fatwas that allow for the sexual exploitation of women.

  • Country

    Israel
  • Extracts

    From our own experience, we know that the key to saving lives lies in the protection of those that are most vulnerable, enacting and enforcing laws and encouraging rehabilitation. In Israel in 2010, we were finally able to put an end to the trafficking of women for prostitution. Terrorist groups like Da’esh regularly coerce girls into sex slaves and force boys as young as eight years old to carry out terrorist acts such as suicide bombing. With the bitter memories of slavery forming our collective memories, Israel is more committed than ever to cooperating with the Council to fight against terror, slavery, forced labour, sexual slavery and other similar practices.

  • Country

    Malaysia
  • Extracts

    Women and children subjected to any violation or abuse, including trafficking and sexual violence, at the hands of Da’esh and similar groups, should be considered as victims and given access to funding and as the principal foundation for our considered action to do so as soon as possible. Da’esh and its ilk have shown that they are capable of immense cruelty through the prevailing use of sexual violence, enslavement and the trade in women and girls for recruitment and financial purposes. In that regard, the practices of groups such as Da’esh and Boko Haram in perpetrating sexual violence, including through the trafficking of women and children, demand heightened and greater attention and responses from the Council.

  • Country

    Nigeria
  • Extracts

    The sexual exploitation of women and girls, including sexual enslavement, forced marriage and forced prostitution are among the grave factors underpinning human trafficking during and in the wake of conflicts. Such exploitation is used by extremist groups, such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Sham (ISIS), Boko Haram and their affiliates to generate revenue, as well as reward and retain terrorist fighters. The unanimous adoption of resolution 2331 (2016) condemned the sale of, or trade in, persons seized by terrorist organizations and other groups for purposes of sexual slavery and exploitation and forced labour. 

  • Country

    Ivory Coast
  • Extracts

    At this moment, when the Commission on the Status of Women is holding its sixty-first session, and against the backdrop of the empowerment of women, my delegation hopes that today’s debate will help to give hope to all victims of trafficking in human beings in situations of conflict.  Since this morning, many speakers have recalled such practices, which are well known and varied. They include sexual slavery, the use of victims for labour, forced domestic work and forced recruitment into armed groups.

  • Country

    Uganda
  • Extracts

    The conflicts in our region have made the majority of our people, particularly women and children, more vulnerable to organized criminal networks that engage in human trafficking to destination countries for mainly forced and cheap labour, sexual exploitation and, in some cases, slavery.

    A number of reports have recently revealed some of the most horrific experiences of women and girl children who have been trafficked in some of the destination countries, where they end up being sold as objects. These trafficked persons, particularly women and girls, have endured untold torture and sexual abuse at the hands of their tormentors.

Peacekeeping
  • Country

    Kazakhstan
  • Extracts

    Preventing sexual exploitation and abuse, especially when perpetrated by peacekeepers, must be a priority.

Displacement and Humanitarian Response
  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    Human trafficking and slavery in all their forms are among the most despicable crimes known to humanity, as they affect those most vulnerable, such as migrants and internally displaced persons, especially women and girls. When committed in conflict situations, such acts might even amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity. The victims of these crimes are often subjected to organ harvesting, sexual exploitation, forced labour or forced marriage.

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    We reiterate that we stand behind the commitments in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants to combat human trafficking, including through targeted measures to identify, protect and assist victims, as well as to prevent human trafficking among those affected by displacement, while taking into account the fact that women and children are in particularly vulnerable situations. We believe that it is important to strengthen multilateral cooperation and partnerships, and, in line with resolutions 1325 (2000) and 2250 (2015), we also need to engage more women and young people in both peacebuilding activities and actions against human trafficking.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    We also started an initiative with the United Nations Children’s Fund and multiple national partners to protect those staying in refugee accommodations — in particular women and children — from violence, including trafficking.

  • Country

    Syria
  • Extracts

    United Nations reports, particularly the reports of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration, have pointed out that there is a continued rise in the activities of transnational organized criminals within those camps involving human trafficking, rape, the forced marriages of women and minors and organ- trafficking networks that exploit children.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    That is further compounded by the fact that vulnerable groups such as women, children, refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons are the most susceptible to human trafficking in conflict situations. Furthermore, women and youth, the most vulnerable groups to human trafficking, are also high on the agenda of the PBC.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    That brings me to my second issue, that of protection during conflict. Here, one specific area of focus should be the protection against human traffickers of vulnerable groups among refugees and internally displaced persons, especially women and children.

Human Rights
  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    In Syria, Da’esh has organized slave markets and even published manuals instructing its fighters on how to capture, control and trade enslaved women and girls. The leaders of Boko Haram have also argued that slavery is legal. In other conflicts, other groups force men, women and children under their control to labour in unsafe mines, as porters and domestic servants, and on the frontlines.

  • Country

    United States of America
  • Extracts

    Rama was looking for a better life. A young woman in war-torn Syria, Rama was working in a café when a man offered her a restaurant job in Lebanon with a much higher salary. She jumped at the opportunity, but instead of taking her to the well-paying job he had promised, the man took Rama to a run-down brothel in a slum. Over the next nine months, she was beaten and forced into prostitution, one of as many as 75 women caught up in one of Lebanon’s largest sex-trafficking rings. As Rama told a reporter, “We slept where we worked ... The windows were painted black. We couldn’t see the light or breathe the air outside.”

    Describing her captor, the ringleader of the trafficking operation, she said, “It’s not that he made us feel like slaves. We were actual slaves ... He beat me until I surrendered”.

    Rama eventually escaped that horror, but she is physically and emotionally shattered. And Rama is not alone. Sadly, her experience is far more common than most of us realize. An estimated 21 million people in more than 106 countries, including countless children, have been reported trapped in modern slavery. That is more than the population of Romania. Those are people living in some of the most horrifying conditions imaginable. We see children forced to make bricks in Peru, or disentangle fishing nets in Ghana, or who are sold into prostitution in South- East Asia. We see men held captive on fishing boats off the coast of Thailand, and women trapped as domestic workers in the Persian Gulf. No country is immune to this crisis, and that includes the United States, where, despite our efforts to combat human trafficking, too many people are still falling victim to criminals who force them into prostitution or other types of work, with no pay and no way out.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    Another important aspect of good governance and the maintenance of peace and security is to ensure that our youth and women have access to economic advantages such as education and employment.

Justice, Rule of Law and Security Sector Reform
  • Country

    Peru
  • Extracts

    As part of the priority given by the Government of Peru to combating this scourge, on 6 January the Peruvian Congress enacted a law incorporating in our Criminal Code the crimes of sexual exploitation and slavery and other forms of exploitation, with sentences of 10 to 15 years imprisonment.

Reconstruction and Peacebuilding
  • Country

    Hungary
  • Extracts

    Our actions need to be tailored to the specific case at hand. Moreover, our response has to be gender- and age-sensitive, as well as specific to the type of exploitation in question.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    That is further compounded by the fact that vulnerable groups such as women, children, refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons are the most susceptible to human trafficking in conflict situations. Furthermore, women and youth, the most vulnerable groups to human trafficking, are also high on the agenda of the PBC.

Implementation
  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    The challenges are also well known: the identification of victims is still in its infancy, and organized mechanisms for fighting this scourge vary greatly between countries. Despite progress since the entry into force of the Palermo Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, still too few prosecutions have been initiated in cases involving the crime of human trafficking.

    On International Women’s Rights Day, the President of the French Republic also announced that France would propose an additional protocol to the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. That protocol would address violence against women in order to complement the existing international framework. But we must ensure that the obligations arising from that legal framework are effectively implemented. Our words must now be translated into action.

  • Country

    Ethiopia
  • Extracts

    It is in this context that we in Ethiopia have been trying to take various measures to prevent and fight trafficking in persons, including by ratifying relevant legal frameworks, such as the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.

    That is why, for instance, instruments such as the Ouagadougou Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, Especially Women and Children, agreed between the African Union and the European Union, are important.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    We need to encourage the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UN- Women, the International Organization for Migration and other United Nations agencies and international organizations to provide conflict-affected countries with financial, human and technical support, in line with their respective mandates and expertise.

  • Country

    Indonesia
  • Extracts

    Indonesia is also in the process of ratifying the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.

  • Speaker

    African Union
  • Extracts

    Against that background, in order to foster the implementation of the international legal framework on trafficking in persons, the African Union has adopted a range of policy instruments to prevent and combat human trafficking, namely, the Ouagadougou Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, Especially Women and Children; the Migration Policy Framework for Africa; and the African Union Commission Initiative Against Trafficking.

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    We reiterate that we stand behind the commitments in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants to combat human trafficking, including through targeted measures to identify, protect and assist victims, as well as to prevent human trafficking among those affected by displacement, while taking into account the fact that women and children are in particularly vulnerable situations. We believe that it is important to strengthen multilateral cooperation and partnerships, and, in line with resolutions 1325 (2000) and 2250 (2015), we also need to engage more women and young people in both peacebuilding activities and actions against human trafficking.

  • Country

    Peru
  • Extracts

    As part of the priority given by the Government of Peru to combating this scourge, on 6 January the Peruvian Congress enacted a law incorporating in our Criminal Code the crimes of sexual exploitation and slavery and other forms of exploitation, with sentences of 10 to 15 years imprisonment.

  • Country

    Cambodia
  • Extracts

    In this regard, Cambodia would like to emphasize the importance of the full implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5.2, which focuses on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls, including trafficking; SDG 8.7, which focuses on the eradication of forced labour, slavery and human trafficking; and SDG 16.2, which aims to end trafficking and all forms of violence against children. In this context, my delegation supports the establishment of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and encourages States that are in a position to do so to contribute to the Fund.

  • Country

    South Africa
  • Extracts

    The Charter is further complemented by the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, which make specific provisions for the protection of women and children against slavery.

    Furthermore, the Ouagadougou Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, Especially Women and Children, adopted by the African Union in 2006, reaffirmed the provisions, provided for an international instrument on human trafficking and encouraged African States to adopt legislation and institutional measures to combat trafficking in human beings.

  • Country

    Panama
  • Extracts

    We should also strengthen the Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, in particular for women and children, established by the General Assembly; not to revictimize or punish the people who have endured that crime, but rather to support and help them, guarantee their security and accept them in the countries to which they have been taken.

  • Country

    Philippines
  • Extracts

    Realizing the increased vulnerability of populations in conflict areas, the Government has activated a structure called the gender-based violence cluster, composed mainly of law enforcers and social welfare service providers who specialize in gender issues, and civil society representatives. The cluster is tasked to address the needs of women and children in conflict situations, especially in mitigating vulnerabilities to sexual violence and trafficking.