Social Humanitarian and Cultural Committee
Forest Hills Eastern
Human trafficking is the illegal transportation of people against their will, for the purpose of exploitation (GLICA). This exploitation can take shape in ways such as forced labor and sex trafficking. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), there are 40.3 million people globally that are victims of the horrors of human trafficking (Human Trafficking Hotline). The issue of human trafficking should be a major concern for nations around the world, one that urgently needs to be addressed. Forced labor as part of human trafficking, commonly referred to as labor trafficking, is one of the larger issues that this committee should look at, with 20.1 million people trapped in forced labor in the agriculture, construction, domestic work, and manufacturing industries, even producing products that people use on an everyday basis such as bananas, beans, beef, and many more (Polaris and DOL). Sexual trafficking affects another 4.8 million in forced sexual exploitation, and another 15.4 million in forced sexual marriage (ILO).
In 2017, Myanmar reported 225 human trafficking cases involving at least 360 victims, a 71 percent increase from 2016. Myanmar has undertaken a number of initiatives to combat human trafficking, such as in 2004, signing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons (Palermo Protocol), and again in 2005, Myanmar enacted the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Law, which criminalizes all forms of sexual/labor trafficking. Myanmar has signed bilateral agreements condemning human trafficking with neighboring countries Thailand and China and is a member of the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiatives against Trafficking (COMMIT) and the Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons (ARTIP) Project. In 2017, Myanmar also increased the number of personnel working in anti-trafficking law enforcement units and task forces. Myanmar plans to amend the 2005 anti-trafficking law to strengthen investigations of trafficking cases by authorizing anti-trafficking police to follow-up and take more stringent actions against traffickers (according to AsiaFoundation). These significant efforts have brought Myanmar closer to complying with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking according to the CIA World Factbook.
Myanmar recommends that countries take action to increase the number of anti-trafficking personnel, criminalizing all forms of sexual and labor trafficking, increase awareness of trafficking by investing in public libraries that provide awareness training to at-risk youth, and drawing up a five-year plan including four sectors in cooperation with relevant ministries, UN bodies, international organizations, INGOs and social communities (Myanmar Office). Trafficking affects millions globally, and it the UN’s job to inform and prevent these tragedies from occurring again.
- Joshua Muldoon