UN General Assembly Multi-Stakeholder Hearing on the Review of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, took place on 23 June 2017, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York as a preparatory process for the High Level Plenary meeting that would assess achievements, gaps and challenges to be held in 27-28 September 2017. This event sought the active engagement of the civil society and other stake holders.
VIVAT International participated in this process. Olga Sanchez, presented an oral statement that highlighted the importance of including faith based and religious organizations in anti-trafficking initiatives.
Oral Statement to be delivered to the UN General Assembly Multi-Stakeholder Hearing on the Review of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons
I am Olga Sanchez representing VIVAT International, and Talitha Kum a worldwide network of Catholic religious sisters and brothers against trafficking in persons and working in over 75 countries. The Sisters in the network, work closely with vulnerable population, especially the migrants and refugees, and they have identified among this population, victims of trafficking. For instance, in 2010, a Catholic religious sister in Israel, Sr. Aziza, started to identify over than 700 refugees who were victims of human trafficking in the Sinai Desert prior to their entry into Israel.
Women and girl refugees and migrants are more vulnerable to be trafficked and subject to sexual exploitation. Trafficking of women and girls for forced labour and sexual exploitation is one of the fastest growing areas of international criminal activity, ranking in an estimate of 32 million dollars business per year.
Hence our Recommendations to the Member States are:
- Intensify collaboration and networking, involving faith-based organizations, religious Sisters committed against trafficking in persons.
- Strengthen the initiatives of all the stakeholders, working with migrants and refugees in order to identify easily victims of trafficking
- Make financial and fraud investigations to track the money in trafficking activities and to confiscate illegal money and assets in order to support prevention, protection, and social reintegration of trafficked people and their families
 TIP 2012, p. 48; http://www.tipheroes.org/azezet-habtezghi-kidane/