Remarks at the 70th UN General Assembly Third Committee on Agenda Item 106, L.13/Rev.1: Improving the Coordination of Efforts Against Trafficking in Persons

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Ambassador Sarah Mendelson
U.S. Representative for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 23, 2015


Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I am pleased to deliver this general statement.

The United States welcomes the coming adoption of this resolution after substantial negotiations. As President Obama has noted, “Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time.” Trafficking in persons is modern slavery. It is a criminal act, a threat to development, and a cause and a symptom of instability around the world.

The victims of human trafficking can be found in factories and fields, in brothels, in conflict zones, and even in private homes. Trafficking touches many of us in undetected ways through products tainted by supply chains riddled with forced labor. Every day the lives of men, women, and children are stolen, broken, bought, and sold in every country around the world.

In 2000, for the first time, through the Palermo Protocol, the United Nations adopted an internationally agreed upon definition of trafficking in persons and provided a legal framework to end human trafficking. Our global commitment to end trafficking was built around three pillars: prevention, prosecution, and protection. With the adoption of the Global Plan of Action on combating trafficking in persons in 2010, the General Assembly added a fourth pillar: partnership. The global community realized that ending this form of modern slavery is only possible through collaborative and collective action by member states, the private sector, and civil society.

With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, member states have renewed the call to end trafficking. If we are to achieve the 2030 Agenda overall, and specifically Goal 5 on gender equality, Goal 8 on decent work, and Goal 16 on justice for all, we must continue this global partnership.

Reaffirming our commitment to the fourth pillar, we welcome this call for a high-level meeting on the appraisal of the Global Plan of Action in the 72nd Session of the General Assembly and look forward to robust participation by all – Member States, the private sector, and civil society.

Source: U.S Department of State


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