As the country yesterday joined the rest of the world to mark the World Day Against Human Trafficking in Persons, the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) António Guterres, has said that the rights of victims must come first.
He said that the United Nations is committed to advancing action to bring traffickers to justice while protecting and supporting their victims. He noted that the rights of victims must come first, be they the victims of traffickers, smugglers, or of modern forms of slavery or exploitation.
According to him “Trafficking in persons is a vile crime that feeds on inequalities, instability and conflict. Human traffickers profit from peoples’ hopes and despair. They prey on the vulnerable and rob them of their fundamental rights.”
He stated that children and young people, migrants and refugees are especially susceptible.
The UNSG maintained that “Women and girls are targeted again and again. We see brutal sexual exploitation, including involuntary prostitution, forced marriage and sexual slavery. We see the appalling trade in human organs.”
Noting that human trafficking takes many forms and knows no borders, Guterres said human traffickers too often operate with impunity, with their crimes receiving not nearly enough attention. This, he said must change.
He noted that in their proposed Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration to be adopted in December, Member States have also demonstrated resolve to prevent, combat and eradicate trafficking in persons in the context of international migration.
“On this World Day against Trafficking in Persons, let us come together around the key issues of prevention, protection and prosecution to build a future where this crime cannot exist,” he said.
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