14 November 2019
SUBMITTED TO: Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee
FROM: Russian Federation
SUBJECT: Human Trafficking
The issue of human trafficking is one of the most widespread and diverse conflicts facing our world today. The Russian Federation believes that on such a serious and sensitive humanitarian problem as this, responsible and depoliticized work is of the utmost importance. It is equally important to abandon all attempts to manipulate the agendas of other countries for the sake of unachievable opportunistic goals. Russia believes all countries in this committee have the right to define their own optimal mechanisms to combat human trafficking, and these mechanisms must be respected in order for SOCHUM to reach a valid conclusion on how to combat the issue of human trafficking.
Of course, Russia is a staunch opponent of any form of modern day slavery, including those relating to the coerced labor or sexual exploitation that is so often characteristic of human trafficking. Article 127 of the Russian Criminal Code prohibits both trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Other criminal statutes are also used to prosecute and convict traffickers within our nation. Additionally, According to the UNODC’s report on Global Trafficking in Persons, countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia record higher conviction rates compared to Western European countries, and above all the other regions of the world, when traffickers are tried in court for their crimes.
However, the issue of human trafficking has become too highly politicized for the needs of those being manipulated by this practice to be consistently put above petty interventionists. The Russian Federation sees the only way to fully combat the issues posed by human trafficking as the implementation of impartial investigations conducted by states themselves. This commitment will allow the international community to examine information on how to combat the practices of human trafficking that are not riddled with western bias, while still confronting the prevalence of human trafficking among countries in both the developing and developed world. The work of so called “independent” investigative organizations in examining the global impacts of human trafficking, especially in Eastern Europe and former Soviet territories, leaves much to be desired. As so many past instances, the methodology for collecting and analyzing material is ambiguous – with Russian Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, Konstantin Dolgov emphasizing how “information obtained from dubious sources is fragmented under pre-formulated conclusions.”
Past investigations into international patterns of human trafficking have used the unacceptable ideological approach that divides nations into rating groups depending on political sympathies or antipathies. Other “democratizing tools” that states have attempted to use against Russia in connection with alleged deterioration of human rights situations are uncorroborated and biased against non-western states. There have been consistent attempts to deduce the effectiveness of the humanitarian and human rights aspects of reports released on human trafficking into slogans, labels, and ideological blame games.
With that said, the Russian Federation asks this committee how we can combat human trafficking without using a template of development for our collective policy that has worked well for some states, but will not prove productive for others. Russia will look for a resolution which confronts the diverse root causes of this issue, as well. There must me a comprehensive approach to combat such root causes as poverty, unemployment and legalized prostitution. Furthermore, balanced attention must be paid to both countries of origin and destination. This committee cannot confront only the countries exporting traffickers or bringing in trafficked persons. The Russian Federation also expects a resolution which encourages all countries within this committee to reflect back upon their own actions which have contributed to the trafficking of persons becoming a global economic industry. Manipulation on behalf of western powers to provide the facade of opportunistic goals will not be what solves this issue and helps lift all trafficked persons out of their circumstances. It is only with thorough investigations and improvements to the rule of law, including crackdowns on illegal border crossings and prosecution of those involved in trafficking, that will help to alleviate this global crisis.
The Russian Federation looks forward to working alongside the international community to preserve the sovereignty of all states and combat the issue of human trafficking with swift and independent investigative action. In order to conduct true reports on the prevalence of human trafficking around the world, we must not let investigations progress which do not distinguish between the desire to halt the activities of known traffickers and the political provocation that has but one goal: to destroy sovereignty and statehood while consistently working to usurp power. The Russian delegation plans to consistently pursue the course of helping its foreign partners understand the importance of depoliticizing human rights protection; it is unacceptable to use it as an excuse for interfering in the domestic affairs of sovereign states, and it is necessary to build a constructive and mutually respectful dialogue on topical issues like human trafficking with regard to protecting and promoting human rights.
- Hannah Ziegler