23 Jun

Your Excellences, Distinguished Colleagues, Dear Ladies and Gentleman,

  • Today’s interactive hearing is an important opportunity for Member States and stakeholders to discuss the best possible outcome for the high-level meeting to review the Global Plan of Action at the end of September.

  • Human trafficking is a horrific crime and one of the most severe abuses of human rights of our times. Human trafficking, forced labour, sexual exploitation and modern slavery became recurring all over the world, and often by-products of armed conflict. Our reality shows that victims of modern slavery and human trafficking are trapped in situations where their freedom and dignity are lost for years, if not forever.

  • Fighting modern day slavery and human trafficking is of particular importance to the work of Hungary at the UN, closely linked to preventive diplomacy that my country and myself are actively engaged in.

  • To step up the fight against this crime of the 21st century, I advocate for gender and age- sensitive, as well as exploitation type-specific responses by compliance with international humanitarian law, bringing the perpetrators to justice and ensuring greater accountability through international judicial and law enforcement cooperation.

  • Our truly human rights based, survivor-centered approach to trafficking in persons should be based on the protection of survivors, with a special focus on children, building on gender specificities. I am therefore convinced that recent developments and growing forms of trafficking, such as sexual exploitation and modern slavery should also be adequately addressed by the high-level event.

  • The Agenda 2030 provides us with a tangible avenue for realizing coherence on substance: three of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) explicitly address human trafficking, including sex trafficking, forced labour, child labour and the recruitment and use of child soldiers. I am hopeful that the outcome document of the General Assembly’s high-level event at the end of September will build on these.

  • In the run-up to a successful meeting, the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will host the regional consultation workshop for Europe and Central Asia of Alliance 8.7 on June 29-30, jointly organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The workshop will offer stakeholders in the region the opportunity to identify and put forward priority actions to support the achievement of SDG target 8.7 with the aim of accelerating political and international support for the eradication of child labour, forced labour, and all types of modern slavery and human trafficking, like sex slavery at the regional level.

  • Hungary believes that coordination and data sharing among Member States, civil society, the business community and UN entities should be concentrated on and strengthened, including through the mechanism of ICAT, the Inter-Agency Coordination Group Against Trafficking in Persons.

  • As a firm believer in public diplomacy and in the power of awareness raising, I just recently hosted at the Permanent Mission of Hungary to the UN the Foreign Press Association Scholarship Fund Awards on 19 May 2017. This year’s topic for the competition was human trafficking addressing „the role of the international media to shine a light on the great moral and societal issues of our times, not to sensationalize, but to hold accountable the governments, decision makers and civil society”.

  • I am committed to keep these issues on the agenda as a priority, and I encourage all stakeholders and Member States to engage in a reinforced cooperation on better coordination, law enforcement, investigations and information sharing.

    I thank you for your kind attention! 

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