Joint press release

Egypt, UN and EU join forces to commemorate the fight against the crime

Press release | Cairo | 01 August 2022
Egypt (ILO News)- 30th July of each year marks the World Day against Trafficking in Persons (TIP). During this day, the world emphasizes the significance of combatting TIP crimes, protecting victims, and bringing perpetrators to justice. TIP is an organized crime that is often transnational in nature.

As per the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, a protocol to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, trafficking in persons comes in different forms with the sole purpose of exploiting vulnerable human beings. It affects girls and women as well as boys and men. Marking this day is a reminder of the importance of coordinating efforts to continue the fight against this inhumane crime. It also draws the attention of many citizens to the issue and promotes and protects the rights of victims of trafficking in persons.

The National Coordinating Committee for Combating and Preventing Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons (NCCPIM&TIP), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) together with the European Union (EU) joined hands to collectively commemorate the fight against the crime through an event at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At this event, an awareness raising video was showcased to provide knowledge of the situation of victims of trafficking and encourage the prevention of the crime of TIP. The video was disseminated across the partners’ social media to reach members of the public who have a role in ending trafficking in persons and supporting survivors.

On this occasion, Egyptian Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly noted in his statement that “Over the past year, Egypt has made significant achievements at the national, regional and international levels in this regard. The Third National Strategy for Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Persons (2022-2026) tops the list of positive developments which we are proud to have drafted after assessing what we have done, examining and analyzing what needs to be developed, updated and what requires more financial and technical resources for completion…there is no doubt that our efforts to strengthen protection activities are our concern in light of international givens, be it political or economic. Moreover, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s directives come to consolidate and crystallize this conviction. He highlighted the coordinating role played by NCCPIM&TIP between the parties concerned with countering and preventing the crime.”

H.E. Ambassador Naela Gabr, Chairperson of NCCPIM&TIP, asserted that the “Use and Abuse of Technology in the Field of Trafficking in Persons" is the theme of this year's World Day against Trafficking in Persons. Here, we agree that modern technology is an effective tool in detecting the crime of trafficking in persons. But at the same time, it helps perpetrators benefit from these technological means in exploiting the most vulnerable and avoid being subject to the law. Egypt, as one of the main countries in the Group of Friends United against Trafficking in Persons in New York, took part in the draft resolution that clearly addressed this dimension. Accordingly, The Egyptian government also considered this Serious dimension when conducting its third national strategy to combat trafficking in persons 2022-2026, as it was included in its pillars, especially raising awareness and building national capacities.”

Mr. Eric Oechslin, Director of the ILO Cairo Office expressed that “more than 25 million people worldwide were in forced labour for the commercial gain of others at the beginning of 2020. He added that according to ILO estimates there are at least 2.4 million trafficked persons at any given point in time.
In his speech, the ILO Cairo Director indicated that human traffickers are increasingly using technology to recruit and exploit victims as well as linking buyers and sellers, in order to conceal their identity as it provides anonymity and allows a range of payment methods such as virtual currencies. Thus, cooperation and partnerships are crucial to combat this crime”.

Ms. Cristina Albertin, UNODC Regional Representative for the Middle East and North Africa affirmed that “The fight against Trafficking in Persons requires the full engagement and partnership amongst partners involved, on all levels (national, regional, and international). Our collective response should cope with and adapt to the dynamic nature of the crime. Having technology playing two-faceted roles in this crime makes it more challenging for detection, and rescuing. With improved responses, we can help reduce the vulnerability of victims being discriminated, re-victimized, and re-trafficked..”.

Also, Mr. Laurent De Boeck, IOM’s Egypt Chief of Mission added that “The theme of the campaign of this year is the “Use and Abuse of Technology”. This represents a very specific angle which is a response to a growing issue, sometimes difficult to control. The increasing number of online materials, advertisements or sites in the search for employment shows how creative the traffickers are getting over the years. Because we are talking about innocent victims made vulnerable by unscrupulous traffickers, whose only objective is to make profit regardless of any ethical approach, it is our duty at IOM to also leverage technology to counter them. The counter–human trafficking community is often the only chance for the potential victims to avoid a life disaster. We must use technology to combat trafficking and increase support for technology-based solutions for investigations, prosecutions, raising-awareness, and providing services to victims”.

H.E. Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of the EU Delegation to the Arab Republic of Egypt emphasized that “Human Trafficking is a serious crime that abuses people's fundamental rights and dignity. It is a complex crime that can take cruel and profitable forms, incurring tremendous costs to the victims, and on society as a whole. For that, awareness plays a key role, by using the right language and putting out targeted messages that will support the mobilization of the public to help prevent and combat this crime.”
The commemoration is unique as it combines the engagement and cooperation between three UN agencies, NCCPIM&TIP, and the EU to strengthen action towards ending TIP.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Hagar Tarek
NCCPIM&TIP, Counter Human Trafficking Senior Researcher

Ms. Asmaa Rezk
ILO Cairo, Senior Communication and Information Management Assistant

Ms. Nermine Abdelhamid
UNODC ROMENA, Communications and Visibility Officer

Ms. Lobna Nahla
IOM Egypt Country Office, Counter Trafficking Team