Briefing the Security Council Tuesday (November 21) top United Nations officials, including the Secretary-General and the head of the organization’s anti-crime office, underscored the international community’s collective responsibility to stop criminals and terrorists from preying on vulnerable populations and migrants.
This comes after the Security Council on Tuesday (November 21) unanimously backed a resolution urging tougher action to crack down on human trafficking and modern slavery world-wide.
The meeting also came on the heels of news reports showing African migrants in Libya reportedly being sold as slaves.
Terrorist groups such as Daesh, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and the Lord's Resistance Army are forcing women, boys and girls into de-humanizing servitude. Committed in the shadows, these actions are serious abuses of human rights and may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In search of a better life in Europe and desperate to escape poverty at home, thousands of young Africans have crossed the Sahara desert in the last few years; a journey that is dangerous and often deadly.
Noting, in particular, the horrific images of African migrants being sold as “goods” in Libya, Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres also stressed the need to help Libyan authorities strengthen their own capacity to protect and provide for vulnerable men, women and children.
“Terrorist groups such as Daesh, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and the Lord’s Resistance Army are forcing women, boys and girls into de-humanizing servitude. Committed in the shadows, these actions are serious abuses of human rights and may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.” he said.
Guterres also highlighted the urgent need to create more opportunities for regular migration, to restore the integrity of the refugee protection regime, and to increase the number of refugees resettled in developed countries.
The Security Council meeting also saw the unanimous adoption of a resolution by the 15-member Council in which it called on all member states to reinforce their political commitment and improve their implementation of applicable legal obligations to criminalize, prevent, and otherwise combat trafficking in persons.
“Therefore, the Security Council agenda on trafficking should be linked with the process leading with the global compact on migration and refugees as well as 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Moreover, trafficking should be addressed in connection to women, peace and security agenda and with the six grave violations against children during armed conflict agenda, “ said Special Rapporteur On Trafficking in Persons especially women and children, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro.
On Thursday (November 23) Libya announced that it was investigating reports of African migrants being sold as slaves and promised to bring the perpetrators to justice.
But sceptical that Libya alone can investigate reports of human trafficking, France has called for an urgent UN Security Council session on human trafficking in Libya.