News: World Day
First UN-Designated World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution designating July 30 as the World Day Against Human Trafficking. The 2013 resolution stated that such a day was necessary to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.” July 30, 2014, was the first observation of this day.
In his message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared, “The first World Day against Trafficking in Persons is a call to action to end this crime and give hope to the victims, who often live unrecognized among us. To stop the traffickers, we must sever funding pipelines and seize assets. I urge all countries to ratify and fully implement the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol on Trafficking in Persons.”
Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, noted that although 90 percent of countries now have some legislation criminalizing human trafficking, implementation and convictions for trafficking crimes is extremely low. “We can all do our part to fight human trafficking. Awareness is key, because even though human trafficking is a transnational crime happening everywhere, it is a crime that is committed locally, in our neighborhoods and local communities,” Mr. Fedotov said.
Joy Ezeilo, UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking, stated, “If you are a corporation or a business, take action to ensure that your supply chain is free of human trafficking and that no one is held in forced labor. If you are an individual, buy responsibly and avoid becoming part of the human trafficking chain.”
UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka called attention to another aspect of trafficking. “To prevent trafficking, we must address its root causes and the factors that increase individuals’ vulnerability to trafficking, including poverty, unemployment, poor access to education and continued gender inequality.”