Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says in speech on human trafficking that we have the tools to fight this crime, but greater cooperation needed among those countries facing human trafficking
New York/Vienna, 9 February 2016 - Reacting to a Europol warning that up to 10,000 unaccompanied migrant children travelling to Europe were missing, UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, said today that this situation was "clearly unacceptable, and international action is urgently needed".
Mr. Fedotov was speaking at an event in New York on human trafficking and the eradication of modern-day slavery through Sustainable Development, organized by the Belarus government, the Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking and UNODC. Other speakers included the President of the UN General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft, and UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.
The UNODC chief said solutions lay in fostering greater action and cooperation among every country affected by human trafficking. He underscored the importance of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocol against human trafficking and stressed that it provided the necessary tools for action.
But the problem, said Mr. Fedotov, is that many countries are not using these laws. He quoted UNODC research that four in 10 countries reported having less than 10 yearly convictions, with nearly 15 per cent having no convictions at all.
He also indicated that the share of children being trafficked was rising with the number of detected child victims now representing nearly one-third of all detected trafficking victims in the world.
Discussing a strategy to counter the traffickers, Mr. Fedotov said the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons offered a suitable plan, but funding was also needed.
He said the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons needed the strong support of countries. The Trust Fund has already supported 30 NGO projects, in 26 countries around the world, with grants worth US$ 1.75 million.
Read the Executive Director's full speech at the event.
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