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The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ)

The UN Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking presented a side event at the 27 th Session of the CCPCJ on 15 th May 2018, co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of France to the UN and UNODC.

The event, entitled "The UN Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking: Focus on Assisting Women and Girls. Good Practices from France and Côte d'Ivoire," highlighted the achievements and lessons learned of the Trust Fund's second grant cycle and the way forward. French Ambassador, Jean-Louis Falconi, spoke on the importance of victim assistance in France and role of the Trust Fund in the global fight against human trafficking. NGOs from France and Côte d'Ivoire shared their experiences and good practices in assisting women and girl victims, with the aim of providing survivors with a dignified and sustainable second chance at life.

The Moderator of the event, Gillian Murray, Deputy Director, DPA, raised the issue of ''protecting and empowering women'' as one of the top priorities of Secretary-General Guterres since he came to office last year. While  reiterating that the UN Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking has centred on women and girls since its inception in 2010, Ms. Murray underlined that UNODC's Global Report on Trafficking in Persons consistently reports that women and girls account for almost three quarters of identified victims of trafficking worldwide.

During her address, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the Chair of the Trust Fund Board of Trustees, presented the achievements of the Trust Fund for victims and highlighted the fact that women and girls account for 71 percent of all detected human trafficking victims globally. Dr. Ferrero-Waldner  stressed the priority focus of the Trust Fund on providing direct assistance to victims around the globe, noting that at least 90 percent of Trust Fund projects over the last years supported women and girls victims trafficked mainly for sexual exploitation.

''There are approximately 40 million victims of human trafficking around world . With a funding level of 1 million dollars per year, the Trust Fund could make a significant impact and fulfil the mandate it was entrusted by the UN General Assembly in 2010.'' Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Chair of the UN Trust Fund

The Permanent Representative of France, Jean-Louis Falconi, explained the active role of France as a destination and transit country in the fight against human trafficking, underlining France's commitment to responding to  all aspects of human Ttrafficking, including forced labour, sexual exploitation, slavery, servitude and organs trafficking. French Authorities also focused efforts on combatting  emerging forms of sexual exploitation within underprivileged areas. The French Ambassador also spoke on the National Action Plan for the ''protection of women victims of violence and the fight against human trafficking'' which is currently coordinated at the inter-ministerial level, with the magistrate in charge reporting directly to the Prime Minister.

   ''By participating in this event during the session of the CCPCJ in the presence of these representatives of French and Ivorian associations... It is our dedication to the protection of victims of trafficking that we want to show and the importance of coordinating our actions at national and international levels.'' Jean-Louis Falconi, French Ambassador to the UN

Monica Belalcazar, Head of the UN Trust Fund, presented the work of its NGO partner NGO Cavoqueiva, including good practices and lessons learned during the ongoing implementation of the Trust Fund. Since 2003, ONG Cavoequiva, which translates to "let us unite" in Gouro language, has been committed to the respect for human rights of children and women, assisting mainly young girl victims of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and forced labour. 15 years ago, Cavoequiva found that the majority of girls working in Adjamé district in Abidjan as street sellers were victims of human trafficking, sexually exploited at night and under forced labour due to false debts. Adjamé is the busiest trade and transport hub in the city, with millions passing in a day. The victims had been invisible until Cavoequiva decided to intervene by setting up a community shelter and assisting victims through a holistic approach. The NGO is dealing mainly with children victims of trafficking offering them a shelter where they can feel safe as well as family reunification that includes search and research of the family, mediation with the families and the communities and the local authorities and reunificatcation process including the follow-up.

''Human Trafficking experienced in Abidjan is very much local, victims are trafficking from one neighbourhood in the city to the other. This is not only about the transnational or trans-regional trafficking phenomenon that we looked at from Headquarter perspective in the UN. But it is at every level.''  Monica Belalcazar, Head of the UN Trust Fund

The next speaker to address the panel, Vanessa Simoni, Project Manager of the French NGO ''Les Amis du Bus des Femmes'', has been charge of coordinating street programmes for the last 12 years, assisting women trafficked for sexual exploitation. This includes the process of identification of victims to the access of rights and victim integration into the French society. Day and night, the bus travels through Paris and its margins to support the immediate needs of the victims within the community-based development project implemented.

''There are a lot of needs, medical assistance, basic education, legal support, the social protection, as well as all, the psychological support victims need during the justice process. Now, we are facing the challenge of trafficking from Nigeria, which exploded during the migration crisis in 2014. The number of victims, including under-age victims increased. After a first phase consisting in the emergency assistance of those victims, we have to deal with a second phase and ensure the integration of the victims while fighting racism, exclusion and stigma.'' Vanessa Simoni ''Les Amis du Bus des Femmes''

An example of good practices shared by the French NGO ''Les Amis du Bus des Femmes'' consisted of  recruiting former victims as peer educators to help them in establishing a trustful relationship with the victims and re-establishing family bonding. 

The UNVTF would like to thank its panellists for a successful CCPCJ side event. Such opportunities enable the UN Trust Fund to raise awareness about human trafficking issues and ways to address it at the national and international levels, while also appealing to the public to support the Trust Fund action in assisting NGO partners which helps victims around the world.


Useful links

UNVTF NewsRoom UNVTF Newsletter
Human Trafficking Testimonials UNODC and Human Trafficking
UN Blue Heart Campaign Against Human Trafficking United Nations Global Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons




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