UN Human Rights Council 44 Statement on Trafficking in Persons

Thank you, Mr/Madam President,

The United Kingdom would like to express its sincere thanks for the contribution of the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons throughout her tenure.

The United Kingdom is grateful for her latest report, and agrees that governments must continue to work together with the private sector to ensure effective procedures to identify victims of trafficking in supply chains, and to provide those victims with access to support.

We are concerned that one consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak, in some parts of the world, will be reduced access to safe and reliable employment and a lack of social protection. This poses increased health risks to already vulnerable groups, such as women, children and migrant workers, and may force them to pursue unlawful or dangerous work that heightens their risk of exploitation.

Amidst the most immediate concerns of the international community to contain the pandemic, we must not lose sight of the continued action still needed to achieve SDG 8.7 and the eradication of child labour, forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking.

How should the international community best work together to protect against the risks of trafficking for the most vulnerable, including women, children, and migrant workers, amidst the changing economic situation?

Thank you.

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