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Arria: Trafficking in persons

Nordic statement by Ambassador Odd-Inge Kvalheim on Trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation in (post-) conflict situations: integrating a comprehensive approach to trafficking in persons into the Women, Peace and Security agenda of the Security Council, 25 October 2019.

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, and my own country Norway.

We would like to recognise and applaud the efforts made to integrate the issue of trafficking in the Council’s consideration of the broader Women, Peace and Security agenda.

Resolution 2467 of April this year, was an important step forward in this regard. With its specific integration of the issue of trafficking.  

We recognize the dual nature of human trafficking as both a cause and consequence of conflict and instability.  A clear link also exists between trafficking in persons and sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations.

When people flee their homes, their vulnerability increases. Girls and women are particularly at risk. But men and boys are affected too.

In a situation in which there is an acute need for sexual and reproductive health services, they are often in limited supply.

We need to consider holistic, contextual and survivor-centred responses. And develop combined tools from the security and the development communities to address the convergence of armed conflict and trafficking in persons.

We recognize SRSG Patten’s leadership in this respect, and welcome her efforts to ensure a ‘whole UN’ approach.  

We commit to supporting the Dennis Mukwege and Nadia Murad Fund. And to supporting local women’s organisations, including through the Women, Peace and Humanitarian Fund.

I hope you will also permit me briefly to add in my national capacity: that for our part, Norway has taken steps to highlight trafficking front and centre in our national action plan on WPS.

While also strengthening domestic efforts to combat modern slavery.

But most of all we recognise the need for more international action in this area.

In this respect, we were pleased to host in Oslo earlier this year the international conference on “Ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Crises” to mobilise international  political and financial support.

And we look forward to the London conference in November, that will surely take us another step further.

Thank you again to the co-hosts for bringing us together today on this important issue.