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UNODC Commemorates World Day against Trafficking in Persons – “Victims’ Voices Must Lead the Way”

Nairobi (Kenya), 30 July 2021 – UNODC commemorated the World Day Against against Trafficking in Persons (TIP) in Eastern Africa through two high-level events and reiterated the message that the voices of victims of this crime must lead the way in the fight against TIP.

Together with diplomatic missions of Eastern Africa Members States in Nairobi, UNODC organized a high-level online regional event to commemorate the World Day. The programme included a presentation by UNODC on the UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2020 and the recently concluded Regional Legislative Assessment for Eastern Africa. Representatives of Member States also had the opportunity to deliver statements or make comments. The event was presented as part of the UNODC regional project on Enhancing Effective and Victim-Centred Criminal Justice Responses to Trafficking in Persons in Eastern Africa, funded by the U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

During his opening remarks, UNODC Head of Transnational Organized Crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism Programmes, Mr. Johan Kruger, reiterated UNODC’s continued commitment to support Member States in effectively preventing, suppressing and punishing TIP with a victim-centred and human rights-based approach. He also called on Member States to consider working towards a regional Plan of Action to enhance regional cooperation and coordination, including in comprehensive victim assistance and support.

In turn, H.E. Dr. John Stephen Simbachawene, High Commissioner of the United Republic of Tanzania to Kenya, delivered a statement thanking UNODC for its continued partnership with the Government of Tanzania, most recently in the drafting of the new Anti-TIP National Plan of Action and strengthening the capacity of criminal justice practitioners to investigate and prosecute TIP cases. 

H.E. Evelyne Habonimana, Ambassador of the Republic of Burundi, recognized and thanked the US Embassy in Burundi for their efforts in supporting the Government of Burundi in effectively combating TIP. Representatives from the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Embassy of the State of Eritrea and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Union of Comoros also delivered statements on the importance of incorporating and including victims’ voices and experiences in all Anti-TIP efforts. The High Commissioner for the Republic of Rwanda also attended the event.

UNODC also attended a national event hosted by the Government of Kenya. This event provided the opportunity for survivors of TIP to reflect on their experiences and shed light on the seriousness of this crime.

During his statement, Mr. Kruger thanked the Government of Kenya on behalf of UNODC for their continued partnership with UNODC, especially in amending the Counter TIP Act, 2010, to align it with international legal standards. He also thanked the Directorate for Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Office of the Director for Public Prosecutions for the continued commitment in accepting technical assistance from UNODC. Mr. Kruger reiterated the importance of enhancing regional criminal justice cooperation through a regional Plan of Action to effectively identify, protect and support victims of TIP. 

The Chairperson of the Counter TIP Advisory Committee, Mr. George Masese, Chairperson of the National Assistance Trust Fund for Victims of TIP, Honorable Major Marcus Muluvi, as well as representatives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Embassy of the United States in Nairobi also delivered statements in support of the Government of Kenya’s efforts to prevent and counter Trafficking in Persons.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Johan Kruger –
Head of Transnational Organized Crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism Programmes,

UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa