The 10th Session of COP (Conference of Parties) for UNTOC (UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime) was held from 12 – 16 October 2020.
Three members of our IBVM/CJ network attended to represent us. Sr Imelda Poole ibvm (President of RENATE), Adina Balan CJ (JPIC International Coordinator) and Cecilia O’Dwyer (former NGO Representative to UN), participated online in this hybrid session. Some representatives of countries and civil society were present in Vienna, but the vast majority attended online.
While our main interest was in Human Trafficking for sexual exploitation, the width and complexity of different forms of trafficking in women, children, and men already existing, along with emerging forms are unbelievable. Countries are faced with enormous challenges to keep up with the evolving trafficking situation.
It seems that organized crime is adapting and changing so quickly and efficiently that in most countries it outpaces governments’ capacities. This situation is exacerbated by the exponential growth of online learning methods making children and young girls among those most vulnerable.
Imelda and Adina both have experience of the deficiencies within the system and what needs to be done to improve it. Capacitation of government officials, legislators, police, judges, border control officials, medical, social assistance, civil society is essential for an effective response and remains a huge challenge. As capacity and response improve, so does the awareness of the need to address this issue from the Human Rights perspective where the trafficked person is at the center of the whole process.
Cecilia delivered a statement on our behalf in collaboration with seven faith- based NGOs. Read our Oral Statement here.