For information only - not an official document
27 July 2017
Executive Director, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov:
Statement on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
30 July 2017
VIENNA, 30 July (UN Information Service) - Today is the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. UNODC's theme is "Let's act now to protect and assist trafficking victims". This is especially important because of the links between conflict and trafficking and migrant smuggling.
Criminal groups feed off the world's conflicts and the instability and insecurity they create. Conflict is a breeding ground for criminal activity; people forced from their homes are falling prey to human traffickers as they try desperately to escape the violence.
The UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons shows that, before 2011, Syrians were less likely to become victims of this cruel crime. Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, however, an increasing number of countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East have detected trafficking victims from this country.
As evidence grows of conflict's ability to nourish crime, the international community is increasingly recognizing the need to confront people's vulnerability to trafficking during conflicts. The UN Security Council has passed its first ever resolution on this issue and last year's New York Declaration calls for the need to vigorously combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling, as well as provide support and assistance under the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
The Declaration also calls for nations, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to enter a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. In preparation, the UN General Assembly will hold a session in Vienna, Austria, on 4-5 September 2017 to discuss these issues, particularly the protection and assistance needed in connection to trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.
In line with this year's theme, UNODC is also working hard to promote the Trust Fund for trafficking victims, as well as the Blue Heart Campaign, which is being adopted across the world. Resources, well-supported advocacy, cooperation under international law, and action on the ground are the starting points for tackling this dehumanizing crime that shames everyone.
On the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, let's act now to help and protect the victims and to end this crime forever.
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