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Clustered Interactive Dialogue on International Solidarity and Trafficking
June 13, 2014

Clustered Interactive Dialogue on International Solidarity and Trafficking

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

UN Human Rights Council – 26th Session
GenevaJune 13, 2014

As Delivered by Kevin Whelan

Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity

Turning to international solidarity, the United States continues to believe that this is not an issue that this Council should address. There are many other items that are more relevant to this Council, and this mandate diverts attention and resources away from those issues.

As we have stated before, additional definitional work is needed on the concept of international solidarity, and we believe this work is not best accomplished through the drafting of a declaration.

We have many significant concerns with the proposed draft, as it undermines many of the concepts that underpin human rights, including that human rights are possessed by individuals and are universal in nature.  Because of these and many other challenges with the text, we do not support moving forward with the draft declaration.

Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Especially in Women and Children

The United States takes this opportunity to thank Special Rapporteur Joy Ngozi Ezeilo for her important contributions to the anti-trafficking cause over the last six years.  Her thematic reports, country visits and participation in numerous events around the world have served to advance member states’ understanding of, and response to, human trafficking.  We appreciate her attention to cutting edge issues.  For example, her 2012 report on human trafficking in supply chains detailed promising practices from around the world to assist governments in providing better oversight and in working with businesses to incorporate measures to prevent trafficking in supply chains.  The Special Rapporteur has also encouraged the global community to look beyond the traditional Prevention, Protection and Prosecution approach – the 3 P’s —  to combatting all forms of human trafficking.  She has urged states to incorporate a victim-centered approach of  redress, rehabilitation and reintegration (aka the “three Rs”) and capacity, coordination and cooperation (aka the “three Cs”).

In the Special Rapporteur’s current report, we wholeheartedly agree with her assertion that a strong criminal justice response is an integral part of combating human trafficking provided it is not at the expense of the victims’ rights.  In this regard, the administration of justice should be focused on ending impunity for traffickers and seeking justice for their victims.  She rightly notes that the prosecution of traffickers remains stubbornly low while few victims receive the support, protection and redress they deserve.

Additionally, the United States would like to express support for many of Ms. Ezeilo’s recommendations with regard to the future mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, and thank her for seeking effective remedies for survivors of this crime.

In closing, we wish Ms. Ezeilo much success in her future endeavors and hope that she will continue to remain actively involved in the global fight to end human trafficking.