Date of Meeting: 12 June 2017

Meeting Organizer: Human Rights Council – UN Geneva

ISJC Staff Present: Commissioner Jane Paone

Reporter: Commissioner Jane Paone

Which SDG does this topic cover? 1, 5, 8

Type of meeting: Formal - Interactive dialogue with State representatives and several NGOs 

Brief summary of presentation of information made

Interactive dialogue with State representatives and several NGOs in response to annual report of SR Maria Grazia Giammarinaro on trafficking persons (8 June 2017).

  • Businesses must eradicate human trafficking (HT) from their supply chains.
  • Multi-stakeholders and industry-based initiatives continue to improve effectiveness of voluntary standards aimed at banning HT and forced labour from their supply chains.
  • High-risk practices should be identified everywhere,
  • Businesses should ask sub-contractors to change such practices, under penalty of termination of contracts.
  • Need for States to establish frameworks to protect workers from labour exploitation and to set out clear expectation for businesses.
  • Achieving transformation that is necessary will require innovative approaches including enhanced collaboration with governments.

Responses from State representatives and NGOs:

  • The greatest risks of child trafficking were often in the deeper supply chain (not easily detected as trafficking, eg children from orphanages, transported by others). Children could be at serious risks working in smaller informal enterprises or trafficked because of economic pressures due to low wages and poor living conditions.
  • The importance of interdisciplinary measures.
  • The international community should combat the scourge through international instruments such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  • Need for a binding instrument to work hand in hand with the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
  • An increase in the number of unaccompanied and separated children arriving in Europe has been noted.  Serious concern was expressed that unaccompanied children disappeared within a few days of being placed in reception centres. (Council of Europe)
  • Importance of involving all actors of the supply chains in combatting trafficking in persons. 
  • States need to address the growing online sexual exploitation of children and bring perpetrators to justice. 

What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?

  • The Salvation Army can help raise awareness of trafficking of migrant children (even though exploitation of child labour is particularly difficult to detect and audit).
  • Strong opportunities of partnering at different levels to tackle this issue.
  • Raise awareness of eventual trafficking, especially of children, when working with displaced people in receptions centres.

Web links for more information

Tags: United Nations, SDG1: No Poverty, SDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG5: Gender Equality