The 7898th Security Council Meeting : Prevention, Protection, Prosecution Stressed as Security Council Holds Open Debate on Human Trafficking, Modern Slavery, Forced Labour in Conflict Situations was held in UN Headquarter, New York (15/03). As the Council considered trafficking in persons, forced labour, slavery and other similar conflict-situation practices, Secretary-General António Guterres said 21 million people around the world faced forced labour and extreme exploitation, while the perpetrators reaped annual profits estimated at $150 billion. Beyond numbers was the human toll of lives cut short and families and societies torn apart amid gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian.
In many cases, he continued, people smugglers coerced individuals for profit yet impunity prevailed, with hardly any convictions for trafficking-related crimes, either in conflict situations or elsewhere. Emphasizing that much more could be done to prevent or punish the crime, he said that, since trafficking did not respect borders, Member States must strengthen cooperation on law enforcement, investigations and intelligence-sharing. Meanwhile, underlying vulnerabilities must be addressed by empowering girls through education, ensuring respect for the rights of minorities and establishing safe and legal migration channels.
Indonesia delegate who attended this meeting is Yohana Susana Yembise, Minister for Women Empowerment and Child Protection of Indonesia. Yohana Susana Yembise is known as the first Indonesian female Minister from Papua province. In this meeting, Minister Yembise said there was an immediate obligation to provide safety to victims of human trafficking. Describing trafficking as a cross-border problem requiring a cross-border solution, she outlined ways in which the Asia-Pacific region was handling human trafficking through coordination and cooperation. Law enforcement and cooperation on extradition would help in fighting human smugglers, she added. It was also vital to taking into account the nexus between preventing conflict and sustaining peace. Peacekeeping efforts must be geared towards building trust and confidence among all parties, she said, underlining that recognizing and responding to human trafficking should be part of the training for humanitarian personnel and peacekeepers.