The UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo [official profile] on Friday urged [press release] the island nation of Seychelles to establish a National Action Plan to combat human trafficking, and to hasten to pass the draft anti-trafficking bill currently circulating in its legislature. During her week-long visit to Seychelles, Ezeilo noted [press release] that Seychelles has taken numerous steps towards addressing the issue of human trafficking, including the ratification of numerous international conventions aimed at the prevention and punishment of trafficking, and the creation of the National Anti-Trafficking Committee. In spite of these advances, Ezeilo expressed concern [press release] regarding Seychelles' lack of legal framework for the prevention and prosecution of human trafficking, particularly the fact human trafficking has not yet been criminalized in Seychelles, nor has the government taken measures in trafficking-prone industries to discourage it. Ezeilo will present a detailed report on her findings in June.
Human trafficking [JURIST backgrounder] is an international issue plaguing countries all over the world. In October UN rights experts, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe [official websites] jointly issued a statement calling for global cooperation [JURIST report] in the fight against the transnational trafficking of persons. The joint statement follows a report filed by the UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons in June urging the international community to focus on the human rights of trafficked individuals when criminalizing and prosecuting human trafficking as well as a statement by the European Commission regarding its plans to end human trafficking in Europe [JURIST reports]. Human trafficking is "a multi-billion dollar industry which has trapped some 21 million men, women and children in forced labor," and occurs across the globe but is most prevalent [JURIST backgrounder] in regions of conflict. The European Commission identified key risk factors as poverty, gender inequality and social unrest.