Statement by the Permanent Representative of Pakistan, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, at the Security Council Open Debate on Trafficking in Persons in Conflict Situations (21 November 2017)

Mr. President,

We appreciate the insightful remarks by the Secretary General this morning. We also thank Executive Director of UNODC, and the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons for their briefings.

We also align ourselves with the statement made on behalf of NAM by Venezuela.

Mr. President,

Trafficking in persons is an abomination. A modern-day equivalent of slavery,it is sadly a global phenomenon and one that violates the principles of morality, human rights and human dignity and undermines our efforts to achieve sustainable development.

Like others, we are outraged by recent reports that African migrants were exposed to the indignity of slavery, in Libya. We join the Secretary General in his condemnation of these egregious actions, which have no place in our world. The international community must join ranks in fighting this scourge.

Mr. President,

Growing conflicts, economic inequality and the widening gap between the rich and the poor provide fertile ground to those who exploit human suffering.

Human trafficking as a consequence of conflict and its increasingly worrisome linkages with terrorist groups are a global concern. On the other hand, human trafficking has also become a cause of friction among nations.

Human traffickers typically work with organized crime networks and underworld mafias. The unprecedented ease of communication and transportation in an increasingly globalized world enables human traffickers and terrorist networks to permeate societies.

According to the report of Secretary General on Trafficking in Persons, raging conflicts and humanitarian crises have resulted in record levels of displacement, with 24.2 million newly displaced, a majority of them women and children.

These harrowing numbers, the countless stories behind each one of the victims and the spreading patterns of exploitation by terrorist groups call for redoubling our efforts against this scourge and united action by all the nations. The transnational nature of this complex crime calls for enhanced international cooperation among the countries of origin, transit and destination.

The UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, together with the Protocol on Trafficking in Persons provides the blueprint for concentrating our efforts to prevent, protect and prosecute.

Adoption of Resolution 2331 by the Security Council last December is another positive step that acknowledges the connection between trafficking in persons, sexual violence, terrorist groups and transnational organized crime.

Mr. President,

Let me also underscore Pakistanís commitment to fight the egregious crime of trafficking in persons:

Mr. President,

Given the vulnerabilities of men, women and children to numerous forms of exploitation, including sale and trafficking in the context of conflict and humanitarian crisis, a comprehensive and rights based response isneeded.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration provides us with an opportunity to correct some of the past mistakes, and protect people on the move from trafficking and other forms of exploitation. We earnestly hope that its adoption will help strengthen the existing global legal framework.

Increasing Statesí capacities with long-term political and financial commitment holds the key.

Additionally, and above all, the Security Council, as the primary body tasked with maintaining peace and security, also needs to address the root causes of conflict to eliminate the grounds where such crimes breed.Unless we deal with these breeding grounds the rest of our efforts might just be in vain. They are necessary but may not be sufficient.

I thank you.