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Japan, UN reach agreement to combat drug and human trafficking

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) [official website] and the government of Japan on Monday came to an agreement [UNODC press release] to increase efforts to combat drug and human trafficking in Africa and Southeast Asia. The agreement was reached at the end of the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) in Yokohama, Japan. The new Plan of Action attempts to combat these problems through an integrated approach that attacks the causes of this type of illegal activity—poverty. Specifically, in the Sahel region of Africa, the group will attempt to address these growing problems by increasing crop production and manufacturing systems so that legitimate economies may thrive. Japan announced that it will also be contributing $1 billion to the $32 billion fund to increase efforts over the next five years.

This is the latest in the fight against drug and human trafficking [JURIST news archives]. In February the UN International Labor Organization (ILO) [official website] urged [JURIST report] the international community to take greater efforts to end forced labor. Last September the UN released [JURIST report] a report saying drug trafficking in Central America and the Caribbean threaten the rule of law in those regions. Also in September US President Barack Obama issued [JURIST report] an executive order strengthening protections against human trafficking. That July a federal judge in Hawaii dismissed human trafficking charges [JURIST report] against six executives accused of bringing 600 Thai nationals to the US, falsely promising them job opportunities and then forcing them to work on farms.

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