NEW YORK, DECEMBER 20 – When sitting in the Security Council in 2017, Italy will follow-up on the Spanish initiative to keep the UN organism alert on the link between human trafficking and the violation of children and women’s rights, the Italian Permanent Representative Sebastiano Cardi announced today during a UNSC ministerial-level debate on “Maintenance of International Peace and Security” – Agenda Item “Trafficking of Persons in Conflict Situations”.
“We will encourage efforts to condemn the exploitation of women and children as a form of trafficking and to look into the connections with transnational organized crime and terrorism and the increasingly sophisticated use of ICT tools by smugglers”, Cardi said.
Highlighting the plight of victims of human trafficking, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underlined the need to ensure justice for victims and accountability for perpetrators, as well as to address underlying factors by focusing on human rights and stability.
“If conflict gives oxygen to traffickers, human rights and stability suffocate them,” Mr. Ban told the Security Council today at the meeting, among the UN leaders briefing the Council, Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and Zainab Hawa Bangura, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.
“The majority of trafficking victims are women and girls. Our response must include special attention to their rights,” Ban noted. He also underlined the need to decrease funding for terrorists to make everyone, and in particular those who risk being trafficked, safer.
“Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL/Da’esh], Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and others are using trafficking and sexual violence as a weapon of terror – and an important source of revenue,” the Secretary General said. “The problem of trafficking is international in nature – and only an international response can succeed,” said Mr. Ban, adding: “Let us work together to help today’s victims of trafficking while creating a more stable and just world for all.”
As an outcome of the meeting the Council adopted a consensus resolution, recognizing the various complexities and challenges of trafficking, in which it called on all UN Member States to take “decisive and immediate action” to prevent, criminalize, investigate, prosecute and ensure accountability of those who engage in trafficking in persons, including in the context of armed conflict.
In his remarks, Mr. Fedotov, UNODC chief warned that the pervasive nature of human trafficking meant that “there is no single measure, no one step in any given part of the world that can address this problem alone.” Indeed, building effective action requires a strong framework of international cooperation and shared responsibility, starting with the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol against Trafficking in Persons. (@OnuItalia)