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1 Aug 2017

Belarus lays out measures to strengthen international response to human trafficking

MINSK, 1 August (BelTA) - The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs laid out the measures to intensify the effort of the international community to combat trafficking in human beings, Belarus’ Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Valentin Rybakov said at a press briefing on the occasion of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, BelTA has learned.

“Marking the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, Belarus calls on all partners to work together. We must ensure universal adherence to all international instruments aimed at combating trafficking in human beings, first of all, the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons supplementing the International Convention against Transnational Organized Crime,” the deputy minister said.

He also noted the need to prevent the demand through the criminalization of offences related to trafficking, and to raise awareness about human trafficking.

“We must ensure full and effective international coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons, strengthen international cooperation at the operational level. We should at least try to boycott the goods produced by trafficking victims and take any necessary measures to protect victims of trafficking and provide the necessary assistance to them,” Valentin Rybakov said.

The deputy minister noted that the current event was attended by the traditional partners and also business representatives. “The government and the private sector can very effectively confront trafficking when it comes to combating human trafficking in supply chains. Non-governmental organizations provide invaluable assistance in the rehabilitation of victims of trafficking. We are confident that together we can pretty much change the situation,” he said.

For his part, Head of the International Organization for Migration Office in Belarus Zeynal Hajiyev noted three important issues the solution of which should be the focus of attention of all stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, civil society, the private sector and the international community.

The first issue is the identification of victims of trafficking. It still remains on the agenda, in spite of all the efforts that have been made. The number of trafficking victims is millions worldwide but real help is provided to a very small number of people, sometimes less than 1% of the number of victims.

Secondly, Zeynal Hajiyev pointed to the need to improve the effectiveness of preventive measures, including those aimed at eliminating the demand for goods and services offered by the multibillion-dollar criminal business.

Thirdly, it is important to apply an integrated approach to combating trafficking in human beings, which requires informed and coordinated efforts at various levels.

Zeynal Hajiyev spoke about the efforts undertaken by the IOM in combating human trafficking and noted the significant efforts of the Belarusian authorities in this field, both nationally and internationally.

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