Vienna, 18 November 2010 - Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), today said that international support for the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking, Especially Women and Children was steadily growing two weeks after it was launched in New York.
"Human beings are trafficked for a wide range of terrible purposes, not only for sexual exploitation - though that is certainly one of the worst forms of this disgraceful crime against human dignity", he said.
"We hope that the new Trust Fund will help us to deal with these challenges as it provides a way to rescue victims of human trafficking and to help them to recover and rebuild their lives" said Mr. Fedotov.
Underlining the importance of the initiative launched on 4 November, Mr. Fedotov said that victims, especially women and children, often needed physical and psychological rehabilitation, help reintegrating into society, and other support. The Trust Fund will provide victims with humanitarian, legal and financial aid through established channels of assistance, such as governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
Human trafficking takes place all over the world. No country is immune. Globally, children are vulnerable to exploitation for begging, domestic servitude, forced labour, the sex trade and warfare. According to UNODC data, women comprise two-thirds of trafficking victims. The United Nations has estimated that more than 2.4 million people are currently being exploited as victims of human trafficking.
Mr. Fedotov, whose Office will administer the Fund, also announced the Trust Fund's Board of Advisors. Representing different regions of the world, the Trustees will serve three-year terms and advise UNODC on the implementation of the Fund. Selected by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, they will assist UNODC in ensuring a balanced and comprehensive approach to the administration of the Fund.
The Fund Trustees are Aleya Hammad of Egypt, Saisuree Chutikul of Thailand, Nick Kinsella of the United Kingdom, Virginia Murillo Herrera of Costa Rica and Klara Skrivankova of the Czech Republic.
The Executive Director thanked contributors to the Fund from Member States and the private sector. To date, pledges have been received from the Governments of Belarus, Egypt, Malaysia, Luxembourg, Qatar and Thailand, as well as from Mr. Naguib Sawiris, Executive Chairman of Orascom Telecom .
He stressed that the Trust Fund would only be successful with broad financial support and encouraged all Governments, foundations, the private sector and individuals to contribute generously.
"Have a Heart for Victims of Human Trafficking" and pledge your support and solidarity: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking-fund.html
Trust Fund Member Bios:
Aleya Hammad of Egypt. Dr. Hammad is former Executive Director/Assistant Director General of the World Health Organization; Chair of the Women's Leadership Council of the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT); and a founding Board Member of the Suzanne Mubarak Women's International Peace Movement. She spearheaded the Campaign to End Human Trafficking Now, and in 2009 UNODC appointed her a Goodwill Ambassador on business community action to combat human trafficking.
Saisuree Chutikul of Thailand. Since 1999, Dr. Chutikul has served as Chair of the National Subcommittee on Combating Trafficking in Children and Women of Thailand's Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. She is also a member of the National Commission on Women's Affairs and Family, and the National Commission on Children and Youth. She formulated a national Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate governmental and nongovernmental efforts to stop human trafficking, and a number of regional MOUs to foster cooperation in this area.
Nick Kinsella of the United Kingdom. Mr. Kinsella was a police officer for over 30 years, holding senior positions in the National Criminal Intelligence Service and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, including serving as CEO of the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre, which he founded in 2006. In 2007, he also founded a UK-based fund to support victims of human trafficking.
Virginia Murillo Herrera of Costa Rica. Since 1994, Ms. Murillo Herrera has served as Executive President of the NGO "DNI Costa Rica"- Defense of Girls and Boys International. She has also coordinated the Central American Program for Juvenile Justice. Ms. Murillo Herrera has led advocacy campaigns to defend the rights of children and prevent child labour and child exploitation.
Klara Skrivankova of the Czech Republic. Since 2005, Ms. Skrivankova has served as Trafficking Programme Coordinator for Anti-Slavery International. Previously she worked for the Czech branch of La Strada, the leading European network of anti-trafficking organizations. She is a member of the European Experts Group on Trafficking in Human Beings, and a member of the Board of Trustees for the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery.
For further information:
Media: Preeta Bannerjee, Public Information Officer, (+43-699) 1459-5764, Preeta.Bannerjee@unodc.org
Trust Fund enquiries: Tuesday Reitano, (+43-1) 26060-5116, Tuesday.Reitano@unodc.org