Global fight against human trafficking

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Parliamentarians across the world have been challenged to encourage governments to strengthen cooperation among law enforcement agencies to investigate, prosecute and share information to prevent human trafficking.

Fikile Masiko, who is among the South African delegation to the 144th Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU’s) Assembly, which is currently underway in Nusa Dua in Bali, made the call during a preparatory debate in the Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights on the proposed theme for the draft resolution.

The proposed theme must be written for the standing committee’s consideration at the 145th IPU Assembly to take place later this year.

The theme concerns parliaments’ developmental role in countries with high levels of international migration, as well as their role in preventing all forms of human trafficking and human rights abuses, including that sponsored by the state.

Masiko called for cooperation between law enforcement agencies to be accompanied by strong extradition treaties, pointing out that South Africa has such treaties with 18 other countries, to date.

She also called on parliamentarians to exercise their constitutional mandate to strengthen social and labour protection frameworks, thereby eliminating the barriers that increase people’s vulnerability to slavery and other forms of exploitation.

“In South Africa’s view, the draft motion on this text should cover comprehensively the IPU’s intention to protect victims by ensuring their access to secure shelters, health services, including reproductive health services, psycho-social counselling, legal assistance, as well as documentation issues,” Masiko said.

As a matter of procedure at the IPU, standing committees debate and agree on a theme for a draft resolution and elect rapporteurs to compile a draft from which IPU member states make written comments.

The committee concerned then meets to discuss the draft resolution and consider written comments, in order to produce a final draft resolution to be tabled for adoption by IPU Assembly.

The Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights will reconvene again on Wednesday to officially adopt the proposed theme for its next draft resolution.

The standing committees on Peace and International Security and on Sustainable Development will also finalise their draft resolutions, to be tabled in the Assembly for adoption.

The 144th IPU Assembly plenary is expected to adopt the two draft resolutions that seek to reframe how peace processes are approached, with a view to facilitating lasting peace and leveraging information and communication technology to support the education sector, including in times of pandemic. –