30 November 2023 – Geneva: In a significant event addressing the critical issues of Human Trafficking and Human Rights, the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of the Sovereign Order of Malta, convened a panel discussion on 30 November 2023 in Geneva.
The panel featured an array of distinguished speakers, each bringing a wealth of expertise and insight to the discussion. These included Prof. Michel Veuthey (Moderator), Ambassador of the Sovereign Order of Malta to monitor and combat trafficking in persons; Mgr. Robert J. Vitillo, Secretary General of ICMC; Claudio Delfabro, Director of the Department of International Refugee Law and Migration Law at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law; Paola Fudakowska, Legal Consultant at TRIAL International; Ena Lucia Mariaca Pacheco, Co-Founder and Global Ambassador of the U.S Council on Violence against Men and Boys; and Alisa Gbiorczyk, Member of the International Survivors of Trafficking Advisory Council (ISTAC) at the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), and Founder of CYBER NITEWATCH.
The panel aimed to provide up-to-date information and shed light on the multifaceted nature of contemporary slavery, encompassing forced labor, human trafficking, child exploitation, and other modern forms of enslavement; challenge misconceptions and stereotypes that obstruct a comprehensive understanding of this global issue, underscoring its prevalence even in developed countries; foster a dialogue for policy reform at local, national, and international levels; and, encourage collaborative efforts among NGOs, governments, businesses, religious groups, and civil society to unite resources and strategies in the fight against contemporary slavery.
Dr. Umesh Palwankar, the Executive Director of the Geneva Centre, offered insightful opening remarks. He highlighted Human Trafficking as one of the most heinous violations of human dignity and equality, impacting millions worldwide. He emphasized the horrific outcomes of this crime, including slavery, forced labor, prostitution, gender-based violence, sexual exploitation of children, and the trade in human organs. He also stressed that these acts grossly violate fundamental human rights, including the right to life, liberty, equality, physical and moral integrity, and access to justice, healthcare, and education – all of which are enshrined in various human rights instruments, labor laws, international humanitarian law, criminal law, and refugee and migration law.
The Geneva Centre will shortly prepare a report on the panel event, which will be published on its website.