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UNHCR chief calls for action against trafficking of humans

News Stories, 1 November 2011

© UN Photo/Mark Garten
UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov and UNHCR chief António Guterres shake hands after signing the memorandum of understanding.

NEW YORK, United States, November 1 (UNHCR) UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres has called for a concerted international effort to combat the trafficking of human beings.

"The international community needs to crack down on the criminals who commit the crimes and provide protection to the victims," he said in New York on Monday. Many refugees are vulnerable to human trafficking.

Guterres made his remarks after signing a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between his agency and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The MoU, the first of its kind between the two agencies, aims to counter human trafficking and people smuggling.

"As we have often seen with human trafficking and migrant smuggling, criminals prey on society's most vulnerable. Refugees, in search of a better life, can become victims of these criminals and it's important that we offer coordinated assistance to those who need it the most," UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said at the signing ceremony.

The MoU calls for increasing exchange of information between the two organizations and for the setting up of coordination mechanisms where appropriate in specific country situations and in areas of shared concern, such as protection safeguards in relation to border management. Enhanced information sharing would help identify areas of operational cooperation.




Human Trafficking Leaflet

Six UN agencies advocate for a comprehensive approach to preventing and combating trafficking.

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2015 World Day against Trafficking in Persons: ICAT Video StatementPlay video

2015 World Day against Trafficking in Persons: ICAT Video Statement

The second annual World Day against Trafficking in Persons is being marked on 30 July 2015. To mark this special day, the Principals of eight of the world's key organizations working to tackle this crime have come together to issue a special statement. Together, these eight heads of organizations are urging more to be done to help the millions of women, men and children who fall victim to one of today's most brutal crimes, and to join forces to improve trafficked persons' access to remedies that respond to their individual needs. This video includes statements from the following members of the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT): ILO, INTERPOL, IOM, OHCHR, UN Women, UNHCR, UNICRI and UNODC.