Sumario: 2 June 2010, Geneva - Intervention by the European Union at the HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL 14th Session (31 May - 18 June 2010), Panel on Giving voice to victims of trafficking
Madame Deputy High Commissioner,
H.E. the President of the Human Rights Council,
The Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children,
The European Union welcomes today's panel that gives a voice to victims of trafficking. We would like to sincerely thank the panellists for their courage to come and share their experience with the Human Rights Council.
The phenomenon of trafficking in persons is still difficult to grasp: the number of victims can only be estimated - and probably these estimates are well below reality on the ground, the perpetrators and their networks too often remain hidden, trends are difficult to detect and therefore responses difficult to maintain up to date.
It is equally difficult to fully understand the individual dimension of trafficking - the injuries, the traumatism, the devastating effect on victims and their families, the difficult way out and the evenly difficult way back to normality, to a live in dignity and respect. We are therefore grateful for the opportunity to hear and learn from your personal histories that stand for the experience of far too many others worldwide.
We would also like to better understand the needs of victims when it comes to protecting their human rights - be it at the moment when you are becoming a victim of trafficking, when you are identified as a victim, your need for assistance immediately after this identification as well as later, when re-integrating your country of origin or when starting a new life elsewhere. We would like to learn about the challenges you have met but also about positive experiences you have made. We regard this first-hand insight as being very valuable when designing, improving and sharpening our response at different levels of interventions. It is our expectation that this panel will lead to a better understanding on how to place the human rights of victims at the centre of our response to trafficking.
Another important aspect, where we are eager to hear from you, is the question of prevention. How can potential victims of trafficking be reached in time. What are in your view effective ways to warn women, men and children of the dangers of trafficking? What can be done by governments and all other stakeholders to spare others the trauma that you have lived?
We would like to thank once again the panellists for being with us today and we look forward to a stimulating discussion.