United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon has called on all countries of the world to fight money laundering, sign and ratify the UN Conventions against corruption and transnational organised crime and human trafficking. He stated that criminal trafficking networks thrive in countries where the rule of law is weak and international cooperation is difficult.
In a message to mark the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, Ki-moon charged every nation to also provide meaningful assistance to those in need, including the protection and access to justice and remedies.
He said: “I applaud the donors who have enabled the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons Fund to assist thousands of people. At the same time, I urge greater contributions to help the many million other victims of this crime move forward with their lives.
“Every country must join together to overcome this transnational threat by supporting and protecting victims while pursuing and prosecuting the criminals. On the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, let us resolve to act as one in the name of justice and dignity for all,” he said.
Ki-moon observed that around the world, criminals sell people for profit while vulnerable women and girls form the bulk of human trafficking victims, including those driven into degrading sexual exploitation.
According to him, “trafficked persons are often tricked into servitude with the false promise of well-paid jobs. Migrants, crossing deadly seas and burning deserts to escape conflict, poverty and persecution are also at risk of being trafficked. Individuals can find themselves alone in a foreign land where they have been stripped of their passports, forced into debt and exploited for labour. “Children and young people can find their lives stolen, their education blocked and their dreams dashed. It is an assault on their most basic human rights and fundamental freedoms.
“We must also provide meaningful assistance to those in need, including protection and access to justice and remedies. I applaud the donors who have enabled the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons Fund to assist thousands of people. At the same time, I urge greater contributions to help the many million other victims of this crime move forward with their lives.”
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Executive Director Yury Fedotov said no place in the world is safe as the latest Global Report on Trafficking in Persons by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime found that the trafficking victims identified in 124 states were citizens of 152 different countries.
Fedotov noted that more detected victims of trafficking are children, especially girls under the age of 18.“Over the past decade, there has been no significant improvement in the overall criminal justice response to this crime. In the period covered by the Global Report, some 40 per cent of countries reported less than ten convictions per year. Some 15 per cent did not record a single conviction. This illustrates a level of impunity which is unacceptable and highlights the fact that at the moment, the traffickers are getting away with their crimes,” he said in a statement.