The Asia Pacific region records by far the highest rates of human trafficking in the world. In 2012, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimated that 20.9 million persons are in conditions of forced labour globally, 50% of these, i.e. 11.7 million are in the Asia Pacific. This figure is three times higher than the second most affected region.
With financial support from Norway and Sweden, the UN Action for Cooperation against Trafficking in Persons (UN-ACT) project, was launched on 13 May in Hanoi to respond to the above. UN-ACT aims to support policy and operational responses to human trafficking within the Greater-Mekong Sub-region or GMS Sub-region (Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam). Within the Asia Pacific, the GMS Sub-region currently features some of the most extensive and specific flows of migration and human trafficking, including forced labour, sexual exploitation, forced marriage and illegal adoption.
Implemented during 2013-2018, UN-ACT will support governments and communities in GMS countries in their efforts to fight trafficking in persons. The project’s principle goal is to ensure a coordinated approach to more strategically and effectively combat trafficking in persons in the region.
Speaking at the event, Maria Selin, Deputy Head of Mission, Head of Development Cooperation at the Swedish Embassy in Hanoi noted that “We are pleased to be part of this important project and looking forward to the its successful implementation, contributing to more effective and collective fighting against trafficking in persons in the region”. Sweden is contributing 18.000.000SEK (around 2.7 million USD) to this regional initiative through the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).
Words and photo: Swedish Embassy in Hanoi, Facebook.