At the UN General Assembly meeting Monday, UN Officials urged those in attendance to continue to work towards “full implementation” of major anti-human trafficking treaties. The treaties are central in the fight against the US$32 billion global human trafficking industry. Global estimates of those in forced labor, sexual prostitution, and military labor range from 2.4 million to 27 million. Regardless of the numbers, the industry will continue to grow without support and implementation from UN member countries.
Vuk Jeremic, General Assembly president, opened the two day UN conference aimed at improving coordination among nations in the fight against human trafficking. When talking about stopping the crime of human trafficking and helping victims rebuild their lives, he said “no effort must be spared.” We must increase our attention to the matter and collaborate to fight against human trafficking. Increased sensitivity and awareness training for law enforcement, border control, embassy officials, and peacekeepers is one such area where coordination must be improved.
The two-day meeting will also serve to provide an update on the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. The plan was adopted in 2010 and includes measures for integrating the fight against human trafficking into broader programs within the UN as well as increasing development and security globally. Discussions throughout the meeting built upon the plan and addressed preventing human trafficking, prosecuting offenders, protecting victims, and forming partnerships to fight human trafficking. The Plan also set up the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons. Jeremic requested member countries to provide greater support for the fund.
With almost a third of victims worldwide identified as children, the need for greater collaboration is great. Awareness on the part of government officials, humanitarian organizations, and citizens is necessary to continue in the fight against human trafficking. The UN conference is a huge step in this direction.
– Amanda Kloeppel
Source: National News Agency of Malaysia