ACLJ Delivers Oral Intervention on Human Trafficking at the UN Human Rights Council
In its 47th Session, the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) convened on the topic of trafficking in persons. During the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, I presented an oral intervention regarding this modern-day slavery issue. No country is immune to the scourge of human trafficking. Every day, desperate and vulnerable individuals are taken advantage of and used for sexual exploitation and forced labor. These victims are stripped of their possessions and forced to live destitute, all while their captors benefit financially. We previously told you how we have highlighted the problem of human trafficking in specific countries through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. We also recently submitted another written report to the U.N. HRC further detailing human trafficking around the world. And during my recent oral intervention to the HRC in Geneva, I was able to once again highlight the fact that human trafficking is a plight that affects every country, with millions of victims around the world, stating: Human trafficking, in all its forms, is an issue that plagues every country to some degree or another. It is a plight that continues to grow worldwide, and currently affects well over 40 million victims . Clearly, there is much work to be done to combat the increasingly problematic issues of modern-day slavery. Traffickers purposefully target their victims, and women and children make up a majority of the targets. As I further explained: Human traffickers typically target the most vulnerable and abused individuals with false promises of well-paying jobs. The victims are forced to live in extremely poor conditions while making the bare minimum, if any at all, while their captors take the rest. Sadly, children and women make up 99% of the victims in the commercial sex industry and 58% in other sectors. Human trafficking is a global problem which makes it difficult for individual countries to effectively fight human trafficking. As we previously stated in our UPR on Antigua and Barbuda , “Many of the victims who have been rescued return to their home country, making it difficult for authorities to prosecute perpetrators.” It is also critical that countries pass legislation that punishes traffickers and provides aid to the victims. Therefore, I urged countries to work with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who possess valuable resources in the fight against human trafficking, as well as pass legislation and allocate resources to help victims and punish traffickers. Due to the commonly international nature of human trafficking, it is often difficult for an individual government to investigate reports of trafficking and to punish traffickers. Therefore, it would be valuable to use the resources and assistance that many NGOs, especially faith-based groups, provide addressing this issue. Additionally, properly combatting human trafficking requires comprehensive legislation containing sufficient penalties for human traffickers, as well as providing rehabilitation services and aid for the victims. However, without sufficient resources and training, these laws are useless. Therefore, it is critical that countries commit these resources and training to authorities so that they can identify cases of human trafficking and put an end to this atrocity. The ACLJ will continue to fight for the victims of human trafficking by shedding light on this atrocity and urging immediate action to put an end to it.