STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. SUKHEE SUKHBOLD, AMBASSADOR AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MONGOLIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE HIGH-LEVEL MEETING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE APPRAISAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS GLOBAL PLAN OF ACTION TO COMBAT TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
27-28 September 2017, New York
Mr. Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the very outset, let me express my delegation's sincere gratitude to the President of the General Assembly for timely convening this important high level meeting to assess the implementation of Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which is designed to produce a renewed political will and commitments to end the heinous crime of trafficking in persons.
The Political declaration on the implementation of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which we are adopting at the current meeting, expresses our full commitments and strong will to take decisive concerted action to end this crime, wherever it may occur.
Trafficking in persons, especially women and children constitutes a serious threat to human dignity, human rights and development. Poverty, unemployment, lack of socio-economic opportunities, gender-based violence, discrimination and marginalization are some of the contributing factors that make persons vulnerable to trafficking in persons in developing countries.
Regarded as a source and, to a lesser extend, destination country, Mongolia is not immune to human trafficking. Mongolia has acceded to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children in 2008 and made significant efforts towards enhancing its legal framework, including the adoption of the Law on Combating Trafficking in Persons in 2012, the Law on Victim and Witness Protection in 2013, and the revised Criminal Code in 2015.
While its legal environment has been significantly improved, weaknesses persist in victim identification and prosecution of cases in the country. Law enforcement and judges have uneven general understanding of trafficking in persons and its related legislations. Often due to misleading interpretations, trafficking offenders tend to be prosecuted under the lesser offense. In the last six years, 54 human trafficking cases were investigated by the police and only 15 individuals were convicted of human trafficking.
Four months ago, the National Program of Mongolia to Combat Trafficking in Persons was renewed by the Government. Guided by the 3P approach of prevention, protection and prosecution, the program aims to strengthen the law enforcement to detect, prosecute perpetrators and protect victims. It is worth to note that “the Network of Anti-Trafficking NGOs in Mongolia”, an umbrella organization founded by 19 local NGOs, actively participated in the development of the program.
We deem that the current progress achieved and concerted efforts accelerated by Member States and international organizations, as part of the Global Plan of Action, present promising opportunities to advance a holistic approach to combat trafficking in persons globally.
Moving forward, we should fully take the advantage of innovation and advancement in information and communication technologies for more effective implementation of the Global Plan of Action. We also stress the need to intensify international cooperation, including capacity-building and technical assistance, especially for developing countries, to combat trafficking in persons.
In closing, I am pleased to note that Mongolia is honored to be serving the second year of its membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council. As part of our endeavor to protect human rights and dignity worldwide, we reaffirm our firm commitment to combat trafficking in persons.
I thank you.