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23 November 2021, 09:38

Belarus FM: Pandemic has led to another wave of human trafficking crimes

MINSK, 23 November (BelTA) - The pandemic has led to another round of evolution in methods to commit human trafficking crimes, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said at the high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on the appraisal of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, BelTA has learned.

According to the minister, during the UN summit in 2005 the Belarusian president called for a global partnership to combat human trafficking, which marked the start of Belarus' active work in this direction. Resolutions initiated by Belarus resulted in the adoption of the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons by the UN General Assembly, the declaration of 30 July as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons and the establishment of the UN Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons. Belarus made three voluntary contributions to the Fund by the decision of the head of state.

“We are convinced that these UN decisions deserve further support. Despite significant successes, every year we record new forms and methods of exploitation of people, new adult and child recruitment schemes, and new mechanisms of re-involvement of rehabilitated victims,” Vladimir Makei said.

The minister stated that the COVID-19 pandemic led to another round of evolution in the ways of committing crimes in this area, putting them in the shadow of the digital space and strengthening their cross-border aspect: “Trafficking in human beings has also become a weapon in armed conflicts. It is important that the Security Council pay attention to this issue in the context of the maintenance of international peace and security.”

According to Vladimir Makei, it is also necessary to improve the speed of interstate cooperation to solve crimes related to human trafficking. In this context, the Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking continues to advocate the need to strengthen coordination of international efforts in this area.

At the current session of the UNGA, Belarus has presented its traditional resolution “Improving the Coordination of Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons”. “We express our gratitude to all states for co-sponsoring it. The resolution, the Global Plan of Action and today's high-level meeting all serve the same purpose which is to keep the problem of human trafficking in a clear focus and stimulate international cooperation aimed at achieving results in combating human trafficking. Dialogue and working together are key to progress in any endeavor,” the minister said.

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