Mission News

Minister Vasilescu expresses support for efforts to combat trafficking in persons in conflict situations at UN Security Council open Debate

On March 15th, 2017, HE Mrs. Lia Olguta Vasilescu, Romanian Minister for Labour and Social Justice addressed the Security Council open debate on “Trafficking in persons in conflict situations: forced labor, slavery and other similar practices”. The meeting was organized by the British presidency of the UN Security Council.

In her intervention, Minister Vasilescu pointed out that “few UN Member States escape this scourge of today’s world – the trade in the most valuable of all „commodities”: human life and dignity”. From this perspective, Security Council resolution 2331 offers an excellent ground to build further and “address, in concert, the causes and effects of trafficking in persons in conflict situations”.

As the existing data demonstrate the linkages among organized crime networks engaged in trafficking in persons and the funding to the terrorist groups, the Minister highlighted the importance to “fully use all existing anti-money laundering mechanisms and counter-terrorist financing tools in order to expose the traffickers, pursue them in justice, block their assets and stop the financial flows of illegal funds”.

In order to effectively prevent and combat this flea, the reaction must be focused on several levels of security, law enforcement, protection of individuals and accountability. Minister Vasilescu highlighted that “human trafficking in conflict situations undermines the rule of law and further contributes to the development of other forms of organized crime”. It might contribute to a chain of events, with the potential to increase insecurity in the area.

Minister Vasilescu underlined that “human trafficking is a severe offense to human dignity and a severe violation of fundamental human rights”. Remarking that a systematic approach to combat this phenomenon started with the adoption of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, along with the Palermo Protocol, she further referred to the current context that frames our efforts in this field. The implementation of the specific targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, the future discussion on the high Level Review of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking, as well as the upcoming negotiations on the Global Compact on Migration represent several opportunities to strengthen our common response. 

Reaffirmed Romania’s determination to contribute to these processes, she noted that “we need a comprehensive and cross-cutting approach on all form of human mobility, while never losing sight of the abuses that might occur in this process”. With regard to the Global Compact on Migration, the Minister pointed out that “appropriate migration policies can positively impact on the creation of legal migration channels to address demand in labor sectors and, thus to prevent the exploitation of migrant workers and irregular migrants”

While highlighting the role of prevention, the Romanian Minister of Labor and Social Justice stressed the role of the National Anti-trafficking Agency and its efforts in this regard. A strong emphasis on the protection and assistance of victims is necessary, and at national level, the focus is on the recuperation of victims of trafficking and their reinsertion into a normal life.

Minister Vasilescu reiterated the Romanian authorities full support to efforts aimed at preventing and combatting trafficking in persons, including persons in conflict situations.

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