Statement by the Italian Under Secretary of State for Foreign Relations and International Cooperation and President of Security Council, Hon. Vincenzo Amendola, at the Security Council Open Debate on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Trafficking of Persons in conflict situations —
Today’s open debate confirms the consistent commitment of this Council to effectively readdress the issue of trafficking in persons and the serious violations of human rights related to it.
The unanimous adoption of the resolution tabled by Italy is a concrete step forward in preventing and countering this scourge. The Security Council thus builds upon Resolution 2331 and the comprehensive Report of the Secretary-General to this Resolution, to reaffirm the paramount importance of aligning national legislations to the international legal framework set by the Palermo Convention and other relevant international instruments.
It also moves forward by emphasizing the urgency for Member States to strengthen identification, registration, protection and assistance for displaced persons falling prey of trafficking. Timely detection of routes and victims is key to effectively counter this plight while addressing the specific needs of the most vulnerable, especially women and children, who make up the vast majority of the victims of trafficking.
The importance that this Council attaches to a victim-centered approach is also testified by the special attention given to unaccompanied and separated children whose increasing number is a matter of great concern.
The Resolution also endorses the comprehensive approach promoted by the Secretary-General to make the UN system’s action more effective and coherent and, to this end, opens the way to further discussions on the role of UN peacekeeping and special political missions in supporting the host State efforts to prevent and combat trafficking in persons.
As proven by its action as a member of this Council, we strongly condemns trafficking in persons, especially when it involves women and children, and remains on the front lines to combat it, as we do on a daily basis in the Mediterranean, while prioritizing the protection of human rights.
Trafficking in persons is a complex phenomenon and a crime with a global dimension that must be prevented and countered through an effective and coordinated response to the entire International Community. This Council made an important stride forward today that should now be followed by a redoubled effort of the United Nations and of all Member States to translate words into action.
In fact, as highlighted in the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons of UNODC in 2016, within the massive migratory movements of the last few years – the largest ever seen since World War II – figures related to exploitation by smugglers and traffickers of vulnerable children, women and men are increasingly concerning.
International efforts should follow a victim-centered, gender-specific and child-sensitive approach and should take into consideration the links between transnational organized crime, terrorism and trafficking networks.
Equally, the response of States should be based on a common understanding of trafficking in persons and a widely accepted legal framework. We therefore confirms and supports the importance of a universal ratification and implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.
Increased international, regional and bilateral cooperation with countries of origin and transit of migrants is of paramount importance as many of you underlined.
As a concrete contribution to this process, Italy has decided to support two projects implemented by UNODC aimed at enhancing legal cooperation in the fight against traffickers in West North and East Africa.
As stated into the Political Declaration on the implementation of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Person, adopted by the General Assembly at the High Level Meeting in September, human trafficking is often more likely to happen in situations where social, economic, cultural, political and other factors make people more vulnerable to be trafficked.
We should therefore insist on a comprehensive approached aimed at addressing high risk factors such as poverty, unemployment, inequality, humanitarian emergencies, social exclusion and marginalization.
Human trafficking is a multidimensional phenomenon entailing threats to the respect of fundamental of human rights as well as to international peace and security. For this reason, this Council should continue to keep this issue high on its agenda. We all need to make additional efforts and work to prevent and counter it and to give to its victims relief and new opportunities to rebuild their lives. In this regard, we contributed to the “United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children”. Thank you.