For information only - not an official document
27 July 2017
Remarks of the Executive Director, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov:
Special Event to mark the World Day against Trafficking in Persons
27 July 2017
VIENNA, 27 July (UN Information Service) - Good afternoon, and thank you for coming to this special event to mark the World Day against Trafficking in Persons.
This year, the focus of the World Day is action to protect and assist trafficked victims.
Conflict, violence, instability and natural disasters exacerbate the myriad trafficking risks faced by vulnerable children, women and men.
Traffickers are preying on the unprecedented flows of refugees and migrants.
Many trafficking victims are never identified, and therefore do not receive the assistance or protection to which they are entitled.
That is why UNODC remains committed to improving awareness and understanding of the complex circumstances that increase the vulnerabilities of victims.
In this way, we can protect more people from being trafficked, while helping to ensure that victims are identified as soon as possible so they can receive the support and remedies they need.
This is the fourth time we are marking the World Day, which was established in 2013 by the General Assembly.
2017 has the potential to be a watershed year for anti-trafficking action.
This year, Member States are reviewing and taking forward implementation of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, adopted by the GA in 2010.
Moreover, a GA consultation on migrant smuggling, human trafficking and contemporary forms of slavery will be held in Vienna on 4 and 5 September as part of efforts by Member States to develop new global compacts for refugees and for safe, orderly and regular migration.
These events follow on the first-ever resolution and continued engagement by the Security Council on combating human trafficking in conflict situations.
I very much hope that these deliberations will help us to improve responses everywhere in the world.
Because there is no region, no country, no community that is unaffected by this crime.
And in all of these efforts, I want to emphasize the utmost importance of listening to the people who have been hurt the most.
Trafficking victims and survivors can and should inform our efforts to stop human trafficking and promote justice, and their voices need to be heard.
Nadia Murad, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking, is the first trafficking survivor to serve as a UN Goodwill Ambassador.
I am proud that she has proved to be a powerful advocate for change, speaking on behalf of those who have suffered like she has, and who deserve better.
UNODC's Global Report on Trafficking in Persons highlights that almost a third of trafficking victims are children.
This event today will be followed by a special screening of "Sold", a film, based on true stories, that brings home the horrors and cruelty of child trafficking, and that urges all of us to take action.
I hope you will find it as inspiring as I have.
I would like to conclude by asking all Governments and other concerned parties to support the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, which provides direct humanitarian, legal and financial aid all over the world.
The Trust Fund needs your support so it can help more victims of trafficking to become survivors.
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