Human trafficking takes centre stage at the General Assembly

6 August 2010 - On 30 July the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Global Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons. By adopting the Plan, Governments resolve to take concrete action to prevent trafficking in persons, protect and assist victims, prosecute related crimes and strengthen partnerships among Governments, civil society organizations and the private sector, including the media.

They also recognize the importance of adopting a human rights-centred approach to the issue, as echoed by the President of the sixty-fourth session of the Assembly, who noted that although this year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, "today millions of people, the majority of them children and women, are victims of a modern form of slavery, called human trafficking."

In order to enable a proper analysis of the nature and extent of trafficking in persons, States commit themselves to conducting research and collecting data on human trafficking, and requested the Secretary-General to strengthen, as a matter of priority, the capacity of UNODC to collect information and report biennially on human trafficking patterns and flows in a balanced, reliable and comprehensive manner.

Several ways of assisting victims of trafficking were included in the Plan, among them the decision to establish a United Nations voluntary trust fund for victims of trafficking in persons, especially women and children, to be managed by UNODC. Governments were urged to take all appropriate measures to ensure that victims are not penalized for being trafficked and to protect their privacy, identity and safety.

In addition, the issue of human trafficking will be mainstreamed into broader United Nations policies and programmes on economic and social development, human rights, the rule of law, good governance, education, and natural disaster and post-conflict reconstruction.

The adoption of the United Nations Global Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons is due in part to the attention that the Secretary-General and so many other anti-trafficking champions have devoted to the plight of trafficked persons over the past few years, through the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking ( UN.GIFT), the Vienna Forum, UNODC's Blue Heart Campaign, the work of goodwill ambassadors Mira Sorvino and Ross Bleckner, the UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons,  UNODC toolkits and manuals, public information efforts, films and the provision of technical assistance.

UNODC plays a central role in the fight against human trafficking. As custodian of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, UNODC works to combat all forms of human trafficking, including for sexual exploitation, forced labour and organ removal. It works with Governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, foundations, the arts and media community, academia and think tanks to combat this crime by raising public awareness, engaging in preventative efforts and enhancing the capacity and skills of criminal justice professionals and policymakers.

 

United Nations Global Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons

Statement of the President of the General Assembly at its sixty-fourth session

Join the UNODC Blue Heart Campaign on Facebook

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