EU supports global action to address human trafficking
The European Union together with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) joined forces with the government to officially launch the “Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants Program” in Vientiane Wednesday.
EU Chargé d’Affaires Michel Goffin, Unicef Country Representative Hongwei Gao, Director of United Nations Social and Economic Division, Department of International Organizations, Daovy Vongxay, IOM Representative Damien Kilner and Crime Prevention Expert, Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section, UNODC Mrs Silke Albert, addressed the meeting to officially launch the programme in Laos.
The program is a four-year (2015-2019) joint initiative that will be implemented by UNODC, IOM and Unicef in partnership with the local government authorities in 13 countries across the world including Laos and will be focused on assistance to authorities, civil society organisations and victims of trafficking and smuggling.
This joint initiative will assist countries to develop and implement effective responses to trafficking in people and the smuggling of migrants. The dual prevention and protection approach has been adopted and includes six key actions such as strategy and policy development, legislative assistance, capacity building, regional and trans-regional cooperation, protections and assistance to victims of trafficking and smuggled migrants and assistance and support to children among victims of trafficking and smuggled migrants.
“The EU considers that trafficking is the slavery of our time. Trafficking in human beings is a severe violation of fundamental rights. It is also a serious form of organized crime, driven by very high profits and sustained by a high demand for the services of its victims. It affects women and men, girls and boys, and causes profound and often life-long harm to victims and communities,” Goffin said in his address.
“The EU contributes 10 million euros to this global action and the Delegation has actively lobbied for Laos to be among the recipient countries, and we are looking forward to seeing the successful implementation of this programme in Laos,” he added. At the meeting, participants were informed about the programme overview, findings from the programme’s consultative mission and action plan for Laos, while representatives from Laos’ Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare presented the Ministry activities for assisting human trafficking victims and safe migration as well as challenges the country faces in dealing with this matter.
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