A UN independent rights expert on Friday joined [press release] with two other key international anti-trafficking expert mechanisms to call for global cooperation in the fight against the transnational trafficking of persons. Human rights experts from the UN, the Council of Europe (COE) and the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) [official websites] jointly stated that, "Partnership is the backbone for effective coordinated efforts to implement a human-rights based approach while addressing this multifaceted phenomenon," stressing the importance of cooperation between origin, transit and destination countries as well as other regional and international mechanisms and private stakeholders. Nicolas Le Coz [official profile], president of the COE Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) highlighted the responsibility of states under international and European law to provide victims with protection and prevent re-victimization. The UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Joy Ezeilo [official profile], called trafficking "a grave violation of human rights which leads to further violations of fundamental rights," a sentiment built on by the statement of OSCE Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro [official profile], who identified the core of the human rights-based approach to fighting human trafficking as the realization of a victim's rights to effective remedies. The three human rights groups strongly stated their shared belief that a concerted global effort is vital to the end of human trafficking throughout today's world.
This joint statement follows a report filed by Ezeilo in June urging the international community to focus on the human rights of trafficked individuals when criminalizing and prosecuting human trafficking as well as a statement by the European Commission regarding its plans to end human trafficking in Europe [JURIST reports]. Human trafficking [UN News Centre report], "a multi-billion dollar industry which has trapped some 21 million men, women and children in forced labor," occurs across the globe but is most prevalent [JURIST backgrounder] in regions of conflict. The European Commission identified key risk factors as poverty, gender inequality, and social unrest.