Statement by H. E. Ambassador Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on "Trafficking of Persons in Conflict Situations"

Mr. President,

          First of all, allow me to warmly thank Italy for convening this important meeting. My appreciation also goes to Secretary-General Mr. Antonio Guterres, Executive Director of UNODC, Special Rapporteur and AU Commissioner for Peace and Security for their informative briefings. This open debate provides a precious opportunity to discuss how to effectively confront trafficking in persons under conflict situations.
          Trafficking in persons poses a serious threat to human dignity and integrity. Security Council Resolution 2331, the first-ever resolution which highlighted the nexus between trafficking in persons and armed conflict or terrorism, stressed that armed and terrorist groups are using trafficking in persons as their tactic of fundraising and recruitment.
          Regrettably, despite the increasing awareness towards this challenge that face the international community, there has not been sufficient improvement on the ground. The report of the Secretary-General states that armed and terrorist groups continue to recruit boys and girls for combat or support functions, and in some instances radicalize them to commit terrorist acts using deception, threats and promises of rewards.    

Mr. President,

          Almost two years ago, in December 2015, the Security Council held its first thematic briefing on this subject. Since then, it has continued to deal with it proactively in various aspects such as sexual violence and exploitation, violence against children, among others.
          Japan welcomes the adoption of resolution2388 today, which demonstrates our strong will to take comprehensive and coordinated action to combat against trafficking in persons.
          This resolution intends to promote comprehensive methods towards elimination of this crime.
          To effectively identify potential victims of trafficking, the resolution encourages Member States to use refugee registration mechanism and early-warning and early-screening frameworks. Identification of the victims is the very first important step for protection of victims and prosecution of perpetrators.
          Japan fully echoes the emphasis on the importance to collect, analyze and share appropriate data among Member States and UN agencies including Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, CTED. Accurate information is essential for their activities to assess and respond to trafficking in persons in conflicts situations.
          In this regard, Japan appreciates that the coming UNODC Global Report includes a chapter dedicated to this aspect.
I believe such steps will enable international community move forward and strengthen its comprehensive approach.
Mr. President,

          As the report of Secretary-General and the relevant Security Council resolutions point out, UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its supplementary Protocol are widely accepted legal instruments which enhance cooperation among Member States. Japan will fully engage in the global fight against this heinous crime as a State Party through mechanisms established by these instruments. 
Mr. President,

          Japan will continue to implement measures to prevent trafficking in persons, protect victims and prosecute perpetrators. We shall do so in line with the Security Council resolutions, Global Plan of Action and relevant Sustainable Development Goals, in close cooperation with other Member States, relevant UN organizations and the civil society.
Thank you.