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UN gathering urges global cooperation to fight human trafficking

 

(UN News Centre) - With human trafficking knowing no borders, anti-trafficking experts from regional and sub-regional organizations have met for the first time in a United Nations-backed forum to discuss how to join forces to counter the scourge.

"Effective coordination of the various anti-trafficking initiatives and enhanced cooperation among all actors involved in combating trafficking is essential to maximize available resources, minimize duplication and address States' fatigue vis-à-vis the number of demands they are required to attend to," said Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.

She led the two-day gathering in Dakar, Senegal, which wrapped up on Tuesday and drew experts from around the world to confer on how to prevent trafficking, protect victims, and frameworks set up to address the problem in all regions.

"Assistance to and protection of victims must be non-conditional, responsive to the needs, and respectful of the human rights of trafficked victims," the Rapporteur stressed, calling for regional and sub-regional groups to ensure that their policies are appropriate to victims' ages and sensitive to gender aspects.

She highlighted the unique position that regional mechanisms are in to combat what she called a "modern day slavery, growing in scale and in terms of human rights repercussions" due to their expertise and knowledge of local realities.

Presenting her annual report to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council in June, Ms. Ezeilo characterized human trafficking as "one of the most appalling forms of human rights violations" and said that it remains one of the world's fastest growing criminal activities in the world.