Eduskunnan puhemies Eero Heinäluoman puheenvuoro YK:n Ihmiskauppaa koskevassa korkean tason kokouksessa13.5.2013
Ladies and Gentlemen
Finland aligns herself with the statement to be made by the European Union.
This High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Appraisal of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons is a significant step forward in the fight against trafficking. I would like to thank the organizers of this meeting and the Secretary-General for their commitment to combat trafficking.
Trafficking in human beings is a widespread phenomenon and its severe consequences affect millions of people worldwide. Therefore it can only be addressed effectively through international cooperation. This meeting provides an important platform for constructive dialogue and closer cooperation.
The Global Plan of Action was a milestone in the fight against trafficking. Since the adoption of the Plan of Action we have taken significant steps together. Today’s meeting provides us with an excellent opportunity to look both into the results achieved so far and the challenges ahead. The process is ongoing and the work must be continued both at the global, regional and national levels.
The importance of protecting the victims of trafficking cannot be highlighted enough. Trafficking in human beings is a crime that violates the dignity and integrity of the individual in the deepest possible sense and causes enormous human suffering. It leaves permanent marks, unless victims receive the assistance and protection they need in a timely and sustained manner.
In worst cases, legal systems punish the victims of human trafficking and let the real perpetrators, the traffickers, go free. In this respect every country and government can do better.
The Government of Finland is currently reviewing its national system for victim protection and assistance. An inter-governmental working group is currently reviewing legislation and is expected to make proposals on how legislation should be improved.
Non-governmental organizations form an essential part of the working group. They have long-term experience of working with victims of trafficking on the grass root level and valuable expertise.
At the moment the Government of Finland is also reviewing its legislation regarding the criminal regulations on trafficking and closely related crimes, as well as regarding national coordination and inter-governmental follow-up.
Trafficking cannot be addressed effectively without also addressing its root causes. Trafficking can be reduced if poverty is addressed and the general human rights situation is improved.
Improving the situation of women and girls is a good starting point, since they often belong to the most vulnerable groups in society and may suffer from multiple discrimination. Finland has set the prevention of trafficking as one of the objectives in our Second National Action Plan of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. A specific goal in the Action Plan is to develop the implementation of the assistance system in a way that helps women and girls who have become victims of trafficking or who are in danger of victimization or re-victimization.
Trafficking in human beings is often part of organized international crime.. Authorities in source, transit and destination countries of trafficking need to work together in order to break the channels of trafficking and to effectively bring the perpetrators to justice. Finland has established bilateral cooperation channels with other countries and found it extremely valuable. Cooperation with non-governmental organizations is equally important.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In an issue as multi-faceted as trafficking, close cooperation between all stakeholders is needed. Finland is looking forward to a successful meeting that will reinforce our common commitment to end trafficking in human beings.