Director General/Executive Director
Remarks at the OSCE Alliance against Trafficking in Persons
25 June 2013
Deputy Secretary General,
Secretary General Zannier, Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentleman,
The cooperation between UNODC and OSCE has been particularly strong in the area of combating human trafficking.
Our joint work ranges from initiatives such as UN.GIFT and training to, of course, the Alliance against human trafficking.
My thanks, in particular, to Dr. Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, OSCE Special Representative for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, for her leadership and partnership with UNODC.
The Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2010, called on the international community to intensify cooperation, in order to identify and share best practices to stop this modern day slavery.
Regional organizations such as OSCE have a critical role to play in this. According to UNODC's recent Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, almost half of victims detected between 2007 and 2010 were trafficked within their own region of origin.
Only a comprehensive, coordinated response based on partnership at the local, regional and international levels can enable us to leverage our resources more efficiently, and tackle this outstanding challenge in all its dimensions.
This requires developing effective and focused criminal justice responses.
But it also means that we must pay attention to social and economic factors that enable human trafficking to flourish in the shadows of the world economy.
The Alliance against Trafficking in Persons is a partnership bringing together a broad range of actors, including national authorities as well as international, regional and non-governmental organizations.
As such, it provides a useful platform to draw attention to the multi-faceted challenges of combating human trafficking.
I therefore welcome this year's Alliance conference on the economic, social and political costs of trafficking. By focusing on trafficking in the context of globalization, migration and inequality, this conference can help us to identify actions and advance solutions.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have achieved much since the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and the Trafficking in Persons Protocol entered into force nearly a decade ago.
176 states are parties to the Convention, and 155 to the Protocol.
The Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, adopted 3 years ago, established a Trust Fund for victims as well as an Inter-Agency Coordination Group to strengthen our collective response.
It also gave UNODC a mandate to report on the patterns and flows of human trafficking worldwide, to further shed light on the problem.
As I mentioned, we released the first biennial Global Report on Trafficking in Persons in December 2012. Its findings are deeply troubling.
Victims of 136 different nationalities were detected in 118 countries, with women accounting for 55 to 60 per cent of victims.
Traffickers have increasingly preyed on the young and most vulnerable. 27 per cent of all victims detected globally were children.
Given the clear scope of the problem, the number of convictions for trafficking in persons remains far too low.
Of the 132 countries covered in the report, 16 per cent did not record a single conviction between 2007 and 2010.
We must do better. Renewed engagement and a renewed sense of urgency to address human trafficking are needed.
All countries must ratify, and fully and effectively implement, the Trafficking in Persons Protocol.
This will help support closer international cooperation to investigate and prosecute organized crime and human trafficking, including through financial investigations that target the proceeds of crime.
Improving national capacity to follow the money trails globally will help identify criminals and deprive them of the proceeds of illicit activities such as human trafficking.
More and more reliable information is also urgently needed. UNODC has already begun work on collecting data for our 2014 Global Report, and we count on your support for this.
The UN Voluntary Trust Fund, which was established by the Global Plan of Action, is an effective means of giving direct aid to victims of trafficking, especially women and children.
So far the Trust Fund has enabled grassroots organizations in 11 countries to support victims, and I encourage States and other donors to contribute more.
Ladies and Gentleman,
Initiatives such as the Alliance are invaluable for our collective efforts.
It is nearly one decade since the Trafficking in Persons Protocol entered into force. Let us ensure that this next decade is dedicated to concerted action to try to end human trafficking.
Working together, we can address the root causes, confront the criminals and care for their millions of victims.