World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
On the 30th of July every year, we are reminded of the thousands
of men, women and children who fall victim to human trafficking,
in their own country or abroad. Due to the need of raising awareness
on the situation of victims of human trafficking and to ensure the
promotion and protection of their rights, the United Nations
adopted resolution 68/192, designating July 30 as World Day
Against Trafficking in Persons.
A grave violation of human rights, almost every country in the
world is affected by the phenomenon of human trafficking,
whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for the victims.
It involves the act of recruiting, transporting, transferring or
receiving an individual through the use of force,abduction,fraud
or deceit (etc.) with the aim of exploiting them. This may include
prostitution, forced labour, slavery or the removal or organs.
(Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and
Punish Trafficking in Persons).
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the UN convention
against Transnational Organised Crime and its additional protocol
to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons. Nevertheless, despite countless countries having implemented national anti-trafficking laws, people continue to be trafficked. Furthermore, victims of human trafficking lack the support they require and are often criminalized.
The covid-19 pandemic led to the collapse of healthcare and support systems around the world. In an attempt to reduce the epidemiological growth of the virus, severe action was taken leading to severe restrictions to mobility and limited access to vulnerable populations, subsequently, negatively impacting people's vulnerability to human trafficking and exploitation.
Hence, it is imperative, now more than ever to unite the efforts and adapt the necessary changes, such as the revision of short term approaches to assistance and the inclusion of long-term assistance through the means of education, ease of access to judicial remedies, to effectively combat human trafficking around the world.
Founded on the principles of human rights, the Institute takes this day as an opportunity to appeal to countries around the world, particularly those of the Middle East and North Africa, to work vigorously in identifying and closing the gaps in eliminating all forms of human trafficking.
Moreover, the Geneva Institute for Human Rights urges all countries to implement the provisions of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its additional protocols, implement anti-trafficking measures that reduce the risk of trafficking and that ensure the provision of protection, support and repatriation to victims, in addition to the ease of accessibility to the justice system.
Finally, the Institute stresses the importance of awareness-raising and educating the public about the root-causes and consequences of human trafficking in preventing and effectively combating this heinous practice and ensuring that every individual can live a life of dignity, free of fear, violence and exploitation.