Submitted to: Social Humanitarian and Cultural Committee
Topic: Human Trafficking
Delegate: Serena Ahmad
School: Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy
Human trafficking is an offense that is prevalent in almost all parts of the world. It is an issue that the United Nations (UN), and particularly the United Nations General Assembly Third Committee, has focused on in recent years, as evidenced by its resolution 72/195, adopted in 2017. Although there have been measures taken to combat human trafficking in the past, it is still a deep concern on international, regional, and national levels. Instances of human trafficking have increased in recent years due to worldwide migration flows. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that in 2016 alone, 40.3 million people were subjected to modern slavery. The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) has stated that all states have a responsibility to try and prevent human trafficking, and this can be done by investigating any cases that occur, and to bring perpetrators of human trafficking to justice.
The fundamental issue behind human trafficking is that it is a violation of human rights, including the right to life, liberty, and security; the right to freedom of movement; and the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. Groups that have been particularly victimized are women and children. Human traffickers in Mexico often hold the children of women sold into the sex trade hostage, in order to force the mothers to keep working. According to a report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the vast majority (approximately 71%) of human trafficking victims are women and girls. Out of 99 cases of trafficked and exploited refugees identified under the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) counter trafficking programs in the Middle East, 35 were girls, 31 women, 25 men, 8 boys. Out of those, 31 girls and 26 women ended up in forced labor situations. Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission says 85% of the country’s human trafficking victims between 2012 and 2017 were women and girls. The commission’s definition covers a range of 26 crimes from sexual and labor exploitation to organ trafficking. It found more than 5,200 victims in documented cases during the five-year period.
The delegation of Mexico still struggles with various cases of human trafficking and acknowledges the need for further action worldwide to help mitigate the situation. Mexico stopped giving financial aid to anti-human trafficking organizations and instead run shelters and victim care directly, according to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in June of this year. Despite the steps Mexico has taken attempting to minimize the amount of human trafficking, this issue will require more thought and cooperation from the international community. Much more work needs to be done to fully eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking violations from society. States often disagree on how to combat human trafficking, and the delegation of Mexico is looking forward to working with fellow members of the United Nations to discover solutions that are feasible for the international community.
- Serena Ahmad