UN expert says States have obligation to stop human trafficking

4 years ago | 56

  THE UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Ms Maria Giammarinaro, has stressed the obligation of States for all States to prevent and combat trafficking in person. Giammarinaro, in her statement ahead of World Day against Human Trafficking, said human trafficking amounted to “a gross human rights violations”, arguing that States have an obligation to prevent trafficking. The UN human rights expert emphasised that both victims and potential victims’ rights must be upheld – especially women and children – and appealed for all States to prevent and combat the global scourge. She said many of those falling prey to traffickers were migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers who had left their countries of origin for various reasons, including conflict, natural disaster, persecution or extreme poverty. “They have left behind their social protection network, and are particularly vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation,” Giammarinaro said. She observed that in the current “poisonous anti-migration political atmosphere,” migrants are often targeted as a threat, while in fact, they are a net-gain for host countries where they live and work. Against that backdrop, the UN expert stressed that anti-trafficking discourse was often misused “to justify restrictive migration policies and push-back activities”. “Taking a stand against xenophobic and racist approaches, as well as violence, hatred and discrimination, is a moral duty which is in everyone’s power,” she underscored. Turning to the Global Migration Compact, the UN expert asserted that in addition to international protection schemes, States should establish individualised approaches to gauge migrants’ vulnerabilities and provide them with tailored protections. “In many countries, human rights activists and civil society organisations have been criminalised and ostracised for acting in solidarity with migrants and victims, and potential victims of trafficking,” she said. Dismissing as “unacceptable” any attempt to delegitimise their humanitarian work, Giammarinaro said that civil society organisations globally played “a pivotal role” in saving lives. Non-governmental organisations are also important in identifying trafficking victims, which according to the UN expert is “essential for ensuring access to protection and rehabilitation for victims, and should be prioritised, including during largely mixed migration movements”. “On World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, my message is that, even in difficult times, inclusion, not exclusion, is the answer,” she said. (NAN) July 28, 2018 @ 12:29 GMT|

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