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EU, UN, AU call for collective action to combat human trafficking

The European Union, EU, United Nations, UN, and African Union, AU, have called on ECOWAS member states to redouble their efforts in the fight against human trafficking, and put it at the top of their national agenda.

Also African countries have been urged to adopt UN convention against transnational organized crimes and its protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children and endorse the Ouagadougou Action Plan to combat trafficking in human being as a way of strengthening their strategies.

Speaking at AU commit launch campaign for the ECOWAS region and workshop on operationalizing the Ouagadougou Action plan to combat trafficking in persons, especially women and children in Abuja, the European Union Commission Head of Delegation, Pierre Philippe, said the union is deeply concerned about trafficking.

According to him, trafficking in persons has terrible consequences for those affected, their families and countries.

“The EU believes that combating trafficking requires a comprehensive approach. Our policy in this area is based on the so-called ‘3Ps’ approach, which focuses on prevention, protection and prosecution, with protection of human security as the underlying principle.

“This approach requires a comprehensive and coordinated policy response, notably in the areas of home affairs (what we call ‘freedom, security and justice’), external relations, development cooperation, social affairs, employment, gender equality and non-discrimination policies.

“This approach also means focusing on the entire chain of human trafficking, from the countries of origin, through the countries of transit to the countries of destination”, he stated.

In her address, the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Mrs. Joy Ezeilo, said in respect of preventing trafficking in persons, state parties are obliged under Article 9 of the UN Protocol on Trafficking to establish comprehensive policies, programmes and other measures to prevent and combat trafficking in persons; and to protect victims of trafficking, especially women and children, from re-victimization.

“High priority is also placed on cooperation amongst governments and between governments and inter-governmental organizations including the civil society organization.

“State parties have the responsibility to address the root causes of trafficking by strengthening measures, including through bilateral cooperation.

“The strategies we choose to adopt must be holistic, integrative and forward looking and must focus equally on the victim by recognizing and redressing the violations suffered, empowering the victim to speak out without being doubly victimized, jeopardized or stigmatised while at the same time targeting the root causes of human trafficking”, she added.

In his remark, the Commissioner for Social Affairs, AU, Bience Gawanas, said traffickers take advantage of the lack of legislative frameworks, vulnerable economic environments coupled with volatile political situations to operate with impunity.


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