|Statement by Counselor Zhang Dan of the Chinese Delegation at the Interactive Thematic Dialogue of the 63rd Session of the General Assembly on "Taking Collective Action to End Human Trafficking"|
May 13, 2009
Chinese delegation would like to thank the president of the General Assembly Mr. Brockman for taking the initiative to convene this informal debate. We believe that this debate will give a powerful impetus to the concerted effort of the international community in combating human trafficking and will promote the comprehensive and effective implementation of the relevant legal instruments.
Human trafficking has complex political, economic and social causes. Abject poverty, racial discrimination, armed conflict and natural disaster are breeding grounds for this criminal activity. In recent years, thanks to the common efforts of the UNODC, the Working Group on Trafficking in Persons established by the Conference of State Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Inter-Agency Cooperation Working Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT) , positive progress has been made in the international cooperation in combating human trafficking, legislative work and law enforcement in this field have been enhanced, the awareness of the question of human trafficking has increased and international cooperation at the regional and sub-regional levels have achieved initial results. At the same time, it must be noted that countries differ in their legislative regulations which makes crime detection difficult; some countries are poorly equipped in investigation, prosecution and conviction; there is a lack of adequate law enforcement coordination within and among countries; and the exchange of information is unsatisfactory. All these factors have imposed a heavy constraint on the efforts of the international community to combat human trafficking.
The background paper prepared by the Secretariat summed up the current problems and challenges facing the international community and put forth targeted policy recommendations. As such, it has provided this meeting with a sound basis for discussion. China believes that in our endeavor to further combat human trafficking, attention should be given to the following two points:
First, responsibilities of various governmental departments and coordination among them should be enhanced. Combating human trafficking involves multiple aspects including prosecution, protection and prevention. Enhancing the responsibility of various departments and strengthening the coordination among them so as to advance in a balanced manner work in all relevant fields represent not only the practical need in combating human trafficking, but also what is required for the implementation of the relevant legal instruments. In December, 2007, China’s State Council issued the National Plan of Action on Combating Trafficking in Women and Children (2008-2012); a system of holding joint meetings on actions in combating trafficking in women and children has been introduced; and an office on combating the crime of trafficking in women and children has been established within the Ministry of Public Security. At the local level, corresponding mechanisms for combating human trafficking have also been set up, especially in those areas where the crime of trafficking in women and children is particularly rampant, and local implementation programs or regulations formulated. These efforts have resulted in an effective curbing of human trafficking in China.
Secondly, bilateral and regional cooperation should be accorded sufficient importance. Since bilateral and regional cooperation provides an important platform for combating human trafficking, it is necessary to focus on law enforcement cooperation among countries of destination, transit and origin and on the timely exchange of information on the tendency and characteristics of human trafficking. Efforts should be made to ensure that such cooperation is carried out in a systematic and standardized way through concluding various cooperation agreements, holding regular meetings, carrying out joint actions to combat human trafficking and providing targeted training in law enforcement. In recent years, China has carried out a series of activities in cooperation with its neighbors, such as launching awareness raising campaigns on human trafficking, holding annual meetings of law enforcement agencies, implementing joint actions in specific cases of human trafficking and providing law enforcement training. These activities have proved to be highly effective. China has also set up in its border areas quite a number of law enforcement liaison offices for combating transnational human trafficking, thus further strengthening the cooperation with the countries concerned in information exchange, victim repatriation and transfer of suspects. As a state party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, China has effectively implemented its convention obligations and participated actively in the international cooperation within the framework of the UN to combat human trafficking. Since the signing in 2004 of the MOU on Cooperation against Trafficking in Persons in the Greater Mekong Sub-region, the governments of China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam have formulated two consecutive plans of action for phase one and phase two and achieved visible results in the Greater Mekong sub-regional cooperation in combating human trafficking. While engaging in bilateral and regional cooperation, China supports efforts aimed at promoting international cooperation.
Total elimination of human trafficking is a long and arduous task. The Chinese government is willing to continue to strengthen cooperation with governments, international organizations and NGOs under the principle of mutual respect and cooperation on equal footing, work towards more pragmatic and efficient international cooperation and make positive contributions to the ultimate elimination of human trafficking.
Thank you, Mr. President.