Governments Prepare for HLM to Combat Trafficking in Persons
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UNGA President Peter Thomson appointed two co-facilitators for preparations for a high-level meeting to appraise the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.

According to the draft modalities resolution, the HLM will convene from 2-3 October 2017, and address targets under SDGs 5, 8 and 16.

13 February 2017: UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Peter Thomson has initiated a process to appraise the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, appointing two co-faciliators of preparations for a high-level meeting on the topic. The high-level meeting is expected to address targets under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 (Gender equality), SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth) and SDG 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions).

The UNGA adopted the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons in July 2010. The Assembly conducted a first high-level appraisal of the Global Plan in May 2013, and subsequently agreed on the need to conduct additional appraisals of the plan. The UNGA also decided to convene at its 72nd session, immediately after the General Debate in October 2017, a high-level meeting to appraise the progress achieved in the implementation of the Global Plan of Action.

The co-facilitators for preparations for the high-level meeting, Catherine Boura, Permanent Representative of Greece, and Alya Ahmed Saif AI-Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar, circulated a zero draft of the modalities resolution for the meeting on 13 February 2017. In their letter to Member States, the co-facilitators express hope that the high-level meeting will raise additional support for the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, which provides humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of trafficking in persons, especially women and children. Pledges to the Trust Fund will be acknowledged during the high-level meeting, the letter notes. The first round of consultations on the modalities for the meeting was set for 23 February 2017.

According to the draft text, the meeting will take place from 2-3 October 2017, and will consist of plenary meetings and two consecutive interactive panel discussions. One panel discussion would address the Global Plan of Action and the SDGs, with a focus on implementing SDG target 5.2 (Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres), target 8.7 (Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking) and target 16.2 (End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children). The other panel would address the Global Plan of Action and Protection of and Assistance to Victims, including through the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.

On representation, the zero draft invites UN Member States, observer States and intergovernmental organizations and entities that have observer status with the UNGA to be represented at the highest possible level, and encourages UN Member States to consider including in their delegations representatives of civil society active in combating trafficking in persons, survivors of trafficking in persons and representatives of the private sector. The zero draft also requests the UNGA President to organize a one-day informal interactive multi-stakeholder hearing no later than July 2017, as part of the preparatory process, and to prepare a summary of the hearing.

In December 2016, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with the Government of France launched the ‘Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2016.’ The UN Security Council convened a debate on the trafficking in persons in conflict situations, during which then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the importance of advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the need to shut off trafficking as a source of funds for terrorist groups, [Co-Facilitators’ Letter and Zero Draft of Modalities Resolution] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on UNODC-France Report and UN Security Council Debate]


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