I have the honor of making this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, and my own country Norway.
Trafficking in persons, including forced labor and slavery, is a serious form of organized crime and a grave violation of human rights. For the perpetrators trafficking is an enormously lucrative business. These criminal networks exploit displaced persons and are a factor that causes people to migrate.
We recognize the dual nature of human trafficking as both a cause and consequence of conflict and instability.
Terrorist groups like ISIL, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and the Lord’s Resistance Army are using trafficking as a tactic of terror and war. Moreover, trafficking raises money for their operations and criminal infrastructure.
Women and children are particularly exposed, often in the form of sexual slavery, forced labor or as soldiers, spies or infiltrators. In that regard, we welcome the adoption last week at the margins of the UN peacekeeping Ministerial in Canada, of the Vancouver principles on the prevention of the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
We call on parties to conflicts to take concrete action to address such violations and abuses and to protect the victims. These actions must be in conformity with applicable international law, including human rights law and rule of law principles.
We need to develop combined tools from the security and the development communities to address the convergence of armed conflict, terrorism and trafficking in persons. Hence, we welcome Security Council Resolution 2331, adopted by the Council in December 2016.
We need better and more effective utilization of international organizations and instruments such as the ‘UN Convention against transnational organized crime’ and the Palermo protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons to ensure effective international cooperation across borders and regions, as well as between countries’ law enforcement authorities. We welcome UNODCs capacity building activities in this regard.
Furthermore, we need to improve the conflict analyses, conflict prevention and cooperation through data sharing and monitoring between countries and across UN entities. We welcome Secretary-General Guterres’ initiative to strengthen the UN’s conflict and threat analysis. In addition, we need to improve our ability to trace trafficking networks and related financial flows and give priority to the development of financial disruption strategies and operations.
The 2030 Agenda gives us an important platform from which to tackle trafficking in a more holistic manner. In line with Security Council resolutions 1325 and 2250, we also need to engage more women and young people in both peace building activities and actions against human trafficking.
We support the SGs reform agenda and would like to underline that the peace, security and development architecture need to be coherent and mutually supportive in this regard.
The Nordic countries are strongly committed to tackling all forms of trafficking and organized crime. We are already deeply engaged in anti-trafficking programs, in partnership with developing countries, regional organizations and the UN. Strengthening multilateral cooperation and partnerships are more important than ever.
I thank you.