Statement by Ambassador Masood Khan Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations at the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Appraisal for the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons (14 May 2013)

Mr. President,

Trafficking in persons, particularly women and children, around the globe is an egregious violation of human rights. It is rooted in social and economic conditions in the countries from which the victims come. Discrimination against women and children and cruel indifference to human suffering fuels this ignoble and criminal trade.

Pakistan welcomes this important high level debate. Strong commitment expressed by high level global leadership should help us find ways to combat this dastardly crime.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon rightly pointed out that human trafficking devastates individuals and undermines national economies. Billions of dollars are generated through exploitation and abuse, which are then used for illegal drugs, corruption and other crimes.

This crime transcends borders, involves different nationalities and exploits loopholes in different laws. International cooperation is a must to effectively combat this modern form of slavery at all levels. Secretary General outlined various steps taken by the UN to protect victims, prosecute the traffickers and end this heinous crime. We must support these efforts.

Mr. President,

Adoption of the Global Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons in 2010 was an important step embodying the international community’s resolve to address this issue seriously.

In line with this Plan, Pakistan has taken a number of legislative and administrative steps to successfully counter trafficking in persons.

We have promulgated the Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance (P&CHTO). The Ordinance incorporates a role for the civil society to work with the law enforcement agencies for rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking. A special Anti-Human Trafficking Unit has been set up in the Federal Investigation Agency to crack down on human traffickers.

Secure borders are a deterrent against this international crime. Adoption of Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) by Pakistan, implemented with international help, provides the immigration authorities and law enforcement agencies systematic and authentic information to identify travelers moving across our borders.

Mr. President,

We can tackle international crime with an integrated and comprehensive approach with firm long-term political and financial commitment. To effectively address the challenge of trafficking in persons, we would like to suggest the following:

  1. Raise public awareness, at all levels, with the aim of eliminating the demand for trafficking in persons;
  2. Foster a global partnership against trafficking in persons and other contemporary forms of slavery. This partnership must include cooperation among Member States and the relevant intergovernmental/ non-governmental organizations;
  3. Continue to make efforts to criminalize trafficking in persons in all its forms, including for labour and sexual exploitation. Relevant laws must provide for appropriate penalties for trafficking in persons, while ensuring the non-criminalization of trafficked persons; and
  4. Ensure provision of humanitarian, legal and financial aid to the victims of trafficking in persons in particular women and children. The UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons should be fully used for this purpose. Assistance to the victims of trafficking must be provided with full respect for their human rights and dignity.

The Secretary-General may provide the UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme with sufficient resources for the full implementation of its mandates and to provide adequate support to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

Mr. President,

Pakistan appreciates the work done by the UNODC and encourages it to continue its efforts to impart training, and provide technical assistance to the governments and victims of trafficking. Member States should also enhance their voluntary contributions to UNODC for assistance to Member States.

Thank you.