United Nations General Assembly: Statement on the appraisal of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons

Ministry Statements & Speeches:

Delivered by Permanent Representative, H.E. Craig J Hawke.

Mr President, Secretary-General, and your Excellencies.

New Zealand welcomes the adoption of the Political Declaration on the implementation of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. A strong, co-operative, global response is required to adequately address this pervasive problem.

New Zealand is committed to eliminating people trafficking in all its forms both within New Zealand and across international borders.

New Zealand condemns all forms of trafficking in persons and call on all states to exercise their responsibilities and powers to put an end to this violation of human dignity and rights.

We strongly support a human rights-based, gender-and age-responsive, survivor-centred and trauma-informed approach to combating trafficking. Such an approach ensures the welfare of victims is at the heart of our response and that enforcement tools available to hold offenders to account are used effectively.

New Zealand's national plan of action aims to address forced labour, people trafficking and slavery connected to New Zealand. This plan of action is organised around three internationally recognised ‘pillars’ - prevention, protection and enforcement/prosecution. These pillars are underpinned by a partnership approach, with effective partnership between government, business and civil society being critical to success.

Among other measures in the Plan of Action, New Zealand has also committed to considering domestic legislation to address modern slavery in global supply chains. Modern slavery is a global issue, and it will take a global response to create meaningful change. This legislation would set a standard to help ensure that all people are treated fairly and with dignity. It would also help to ensure that New Zealand businesses and consumers are not inadvertently contributing to the exploitation of other people, including children, around the world.

Mr President,

The remaining discussions regarding the Global Plan of Action, and particularly the contributions and expertise from panellists about ongoing issues related to the trafficking of women and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation will deserve close attention.

New Zealand will do our part in preventing and combating trafficking in persons wherever it occurs, and will continue to work with partners including through the Bali Process and the International Labour Organization.

Thank you.


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