Intervention by H.E. Ambassador Katalin Annamária Bogyay Permanent Representative at the Open Debate of the Security Council on “Women, Peace and Security: Responding to human trafficking in situations of conflict-related sexual violence”, 2 June 2016.
Your Excellency, Mr. President,
Honorable members of the Security Council, Dear Colleagues,
I thank France for providing us the opportunity to reflect on this extremely important topic.
Let me also join others in thanking Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Special Representative Zainab Bangura, Special Rapporteur Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, as well as Ms. Lisa Davis, NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security for their informative briefings.
Hungary, of course, aligns itself with the statement (to be) delivered on behalf of the European Union.
Human trafficking or, as some others call it, modern-day slavery is a spreading global threat that can be found in every country.
Specifically in conflict and post-conflict situations, the level of insecurity, as well as the breakdown in family and community structures and other safety nets, raise the exposure of women and girls, in particular, to all forms of violence. We are deeply troubled that trafficking in persons, often for sexual purposes, became a recurring feature and byproduct of armed conflict.
The Secretary-General’s recent report on conflict-related sexual violence portrays a deeply disturbing picture of groups such as ISIL and Boko Haram institutionalizing slavery and sexual violence, often targeting ethnic or religious minorities, to facilitate recruitment by promising male fighters access to women, to generate revenue, to terrorize local communities, or to displace inhabitants from strategic territories.
We find the growing presence of Daesh in Libyan areas that function as popular trafficking routes across the Mediterranean particularly worrying, because it creates a risk of further exploitation of .
Hungary is of the view that a number of steps will need to be taken if we wish to fight this global threat more effectively.
First, Member States will need to play a more active, leading role in the fight against conflict-related sexual violence and human trafficking.
Hungary expressed its devotion to the cause of preventing sexual violence in conflict and joined the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict held in London, and endorsed the Communiqué on the Call to Action to End Violence against Women and Girls in Emergencies as well.
Furthermore, we also confirmed our commitment by issuing national pledges at the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security held on 13 October 2015 and at the 32ndInternational Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent last December. In this spirit, Hungary plans to organize a workshop aimed at advancing the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and related Resolutions with a special emphasis on the gender-based violence in armed conflict.
Second, effective implementation of the relevant international instruments is essential. We recall that the Security Council in its PRST adopted last December highlighted in particular, the importance of the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. In this context, Hungary recognises that UNODC has continued to support Member States in providing technical assistance, upon request, in assisting implementation.
Third, prevention and protection efforts are also urgently required to ensure that women and girls who are impacted by conflict situations do not become vulnerable to traffickers. Hungary shares the view that strategies to prevent and protect women and girls in conflict from trafficking must be gender sensitive and gender responsive. The protection of women and girls exploited by extremist groups is particularly critical as they may be ostracized from their communities for having been associated with these groups even if it was not of their choice. We, Member States, must also make sure that those we send to protect populations are not complicit in their exploitation.
Fourth, accountability for sexual violence and human trafficking must be ensured. Sexual violence is strictly prohibited under all circumstances, and it is a particularly grave situation where sexual violence is used as a method of warfare. Committing rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy or any other forms of sexual violence constitute war crimes in both international and non-international armed conflicts, furthermore, could be constituting elements of genocide and could constitute crimes against humanity.
We underline the strong need to bring those responsible to justice. It is just too easy to always point at the International Criminal Court as the forum where such trials should take place: we must not forget that the primary responsibility lies with States. States must step up their efforts in finding the perpetrators and bringing them to justice in front of their national courts. In this regard, States should make efforts to train their immigration authorities, police forces, prosecutors and judges to be able to find possible victims, witnesses and perpetrators, and effectively carry out criminal procedures, with special regard to the sensitivities and the particular nature of crimes involving sexual violence. Hungary supports the inclusion of perpetrators of gross violations of women’s human rights and other forms of gender‐based crimes in UN and bilateral sanctions. In this context, we encourage the wider use of the involvement in human trafficking as a basis for listing in UN sanctions regimes.
Fifth, Hungary strongly support efforts aimed at enhancing the meaningful participation of women in crisis prevention and resolution. We are confident that effective involvement of women into every stage of peace processes is an essential tool to address the phenomenon of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict.
I would like to close by expressing our hope that the Council will continue to address this topic, including by exploring whether and how the existing Children and Armed Conflict infrastructure could be utilized to address these issues.
Hungary looks forward to the report currently being prepared by UNODC on the implementation of PRST 2015/25, which will be presented to the Council in December this year. We are ready to participate actively in the discussions on how to strengthen UN response to this global threat.
I thank you for your attention.