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27 September 2017

INTERPOL organizes UN high-level meeting on human trafficking

UNITED NATIONS, New York – Combating human trafficking was the focus of a high-level meeting at UN headquarters co-organized by INTERPOL and the Permanent Missions of Austria and Brazil to the UN.

Held during the UN’s annual General Assembly, the side event (26 September) was organized in the context of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and underlined how almost every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims.

With victims including men, women and children of all ages, human trafficking is a serious threat to human dignity and physical integrity, and a global challenge to sustainable development. It is often a transnational and organized crime which targets the most vulnerable communities.

A low risk, high profit criminal activity, there are also increasing links between human trafficking and other various forms of organized crime, such as arms trafficking, cybercrime, drug trafficking, money laundering, trafficking in illicit goods, migrant smuggling, as well as, in some regions, with extremist groups, coercing women and girls into marriages or sexual slavery, and pressing men and boys into forced labour or combat.

“As the only global police organization, INTERPOL is ideally positioned to support police worldwide in targeting and disrupting all forms of human trafficking through its policing capabilities and network. The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the perfect medium to address the many different aspects of this global phenomenon,” said the Deputy Special Representative of INTERPOL to the UN, Elisabeth Neugebauer, who moderated the high-level meeting.

The event was organized on the occasion of the adoption of the Political Declaration of the Global Call for Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, taking place the following day, recognizing INTERPOL as an important contributor to combatting this global phenomenon. Signatory Member States at the meeting committed to intensifying their efforts to prevent and address human trafficking, as well as to strengthening cooperation and coordination among Member States and with international organizations.

In this respect, INTERPOL’s Global Strategy on Organized and Emerging Crime establishes fighting human trafficking as one of the Organization’s priorities by supporting its 190 member countries to effectively combat this constantly evolving phenomenon. To this end, INTERPOL has a dedicated unit to counter human trafficking and child exploitation, providing training and operational support to law enforcement officers from its members countries.

The high-level meeting was chaired by H.E. Ambassador Jan Kickert, Permanent Representative of Austria to the UN, and H.E. Ambassador Mauro Vieira, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN. It included experts from the Brazilian Federal Police, INTERPOL, UNODC, and civil society, and was followed by an interactive discussion.