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16 Mar 2017

Belarus calls for better international coordination in combating human trafficking

MINSK, 16 March (BelTA) – Belarus’ Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Valentin Rybakov took part in the open debate of the UN Security Council on “Trafficking in persons in conflict situations” in the UN headquarters in New York on 15 March, BelTA has learned from the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Valentin Rybakov urged the UN Member States not to compete in initiatives to fight human trafficking, but to improve coordination of efforts on an open and predictable basis, so that all Member States could participate without any exception,” the press service informed.

The Belarusian diplomat noted that the next review of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, to be held in September 2017, provides an exceptional opportunity for Member States to assess the existing problems and develop further actions to combat trafficking in persons. In this regard, Valentin Rybakov urged the UN Member States to take a serious and constructive participation in this process.

In his speech the deputy minister stressed that the problem of human trafficking should not become a prerogative of the UN Security Council to avoid duplication of functions of the main UN bodies. The Belarusian diplomat noted that human trafficking is a transnational crime in its nature and that all Member States should participate in fighting it. Therefore, the UN General Assembly, as the only main UN body with universal representation, should remain the main forum for developing and coordinating efforts on this issue.

On 15 March Valentin Rybakov took part in the Special High-Level Event on “Root Causes of Trafficking in Persons: Key Role of the Family for Protection and Prevention”. The event was organized on the initiative of Belarus by the Group of Friends of the Family, together with partners from international and American non-governmental organizations that support a natural family.

In his speech the Belarusian diplomat stressed on the risk factors that pushed potential victims into the hands of traffickers. Among these factors Valentin Rybakov mentioned poverty, lack of education and adequate livelihood, discrimination and gender-based violence.

Valentin Rybakov drew particular attention to the role of the family in the prevention of this crime. He noted that stable family relationships can provide a vital shield against substance abuse and reduce economic vulnerability of people that are one of the main driving factors of human trafficking.

The Belarusian diplomat expressed hope that the next review of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, to be held this fall at the high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, will reinvigorate new innovative partnerships between Member States and international intergovernmental organizations, civil society on a comprehensive solution to this problem and that the family will contribute to this process.

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