Intervention by H.E. Ambassador Katalin Annamária Bogyay Permanent Representative at the Ministerial Open Debate of the Security Council
on “Trafficking in Persons in Conflict Situations”, 20 December 2016.

Your Excellency, Mr. President,

Honorable members of the Security Council, dear Colleagues,


I thank Spain for convening this Security Council open debate on Trafficking in Persons in Conflict Situations. We would also like to congratulate Spain for initiating the adoption of today’s historic Council resolution on this extremely important topic. Hungary was one of the co-sponsors of the resolution.


Let me also join the others in thanking Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, ExecutiveDirector Yury Fedotov, Special Representative Zainab Bangura, activist for the Yazidi Women’s rights Ms. Ameena Saeed Hasan, as well as, Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking Ms. Nadia Murad Basee Taha for their informative briefings.


Hungary aligns itself with the statement (to be) delivered on behalf of the European Union.


Mr. President,

We are deeply troubled that trafficking in persons, often, but not only, for sexual purposes, has become a recurring feature and by-product of armed conflicts. In conflict and post-conflict situations, the level of insecurity, as well as the breakdown in family and community structures and other safety nets, raises the exposure of both women, men, girls, and boys, to diverse forms of human exploitation.

It is particularly disturbing that both Daesh and Boko Haram openly promote and engage in the enslavement and trade of women and girls, often targeting religious and ethnic minorities. They do so to facilitate recruitment by promising male fighters access to women, to generate revenue, to terrorize civilian populations, or to displace inhabitants from strategic territories.


We cannot let this happen in the 21st century!


Mr. President,

In order to fight trafficking in persons in conflict more effectively, Hungary proposes the following:

First, the UN and its Member States will need to play a more active, leading role in the fight against human trafficking and other forms of modern slavery. We encourage Mr António Guterres, the incoming Secretary-General, to place fighting this global threat affecting tens of millions on the top of his agenda. Member states will also have the opportunity to reflect on these issues during, for instance, the 2017 review process of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.

Second, the ratification and effective implementation of the relevant international instruments such as the Palermo Protocol and the 2014 ILO Protocol on Forced Labour are essential.

Third, strong prevention and protection efforts are also urgently required to ensure that those impacted by conflict situations do not become vulnerable to traffickers.

Fourth, accountability for trafficking in persons in conflict is also a must. Certain acts associated with trafficking in persons, such as sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy or any other forms of sexual violence constitute war crimes in both international and non-international armed conflicts. Furthermore, they could be constituting elements of genocide and could constitute crimes against humanity. While under specific circumstances, the ICC and other international accountability mechanisms could also play a role, we must not forget that the primary responsibility for bringing those responsible to justice lies with the States. The States should step up their efforts to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice in front of their national courts. In this regard, States should make efforts to train their immigration authorities, police forces, prosecutors, and judges, and effectively carry out criminal procedures, with special regard to the sensitivities and the particular nature of these crimes.

Fifth, Hungary supports the inclusion of perpetrators of trafficking in persons in UN and unilateral sanctions. In this context, we encourage the wider use of involvement in human trafficking as a basis for listing in UN sanctions regimes. We also encourage the Special Representatives on Sexual Violence in Conflicts and on Children and Armed Conflicts to submit the names of individuals who are instrumental in the trafficking in persons to possible designation and listing.

Sixth, Hungary is of the view that coordination and cooperation among all relevant UN entities, including UNODC, IOM, UNHCR, ILO, UNICEF and UN Women will also need to be improved. The new Secretary-General will need to play a key role in this regard.

Seventh, we need more, and more reliable data on the subject. In this regard, Hungary welcomes the launching of the UNODC’s 2016 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons.

I would like to close by expressing my country’s hope that from now on the Council will address this important topic on a regular basis. Hungary is ready to participate actively in the discussions on how to strengthen the UN response to this global threat.

I thank you for your attention.