On July 30, 2018 on the occasion of the World Day Against Trafficking in Human Beings, at the initiative of Belarus at UN Headquarters, the Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking in partnership with Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT) and international non-governmental organization “Rani's Voice” convened a panel discussion “Stop trafficking in children and youth: a dire need to find sustainable solutions”.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent a message to the participants of the panel discussion on the occasion of the World Day against trafficking in Persons, and UN Under-Secretary-General, Executive Director of UNODC Yuri Fedotov sent a video address.
The event was also attended by UNICEF, the office of the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Violence against Children, as well as a former victim of trafficking and representative of the Canadian largest mass media corporation “Thomson Reuters”.
The Permanent Representative of Belarus to the United Nations Valentin Rybakov intervened at the panel discussion on behalf of the Group of Friends United against Trafficking in Persons. V.Rybakov reminded about the prerequisites for the proclamation of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons in the UN, including in the context of the adoption of the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.
The head of the Belarusian mission raised the problem of trafficking in children, expressing concern that most cases of trafficking in children are currently happening through the use of Internet and other information technologies. The Belarusian diplomat also drew attention to the topic of missing children. V.Rybakov called for raising awareness of the international community about this crime and mobilizing the efforts of all interested partners.
The Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking was created in 2010 at the initiative of Belarus. The Group comprises 23 Member States from all regions of the world. The UN General Assembly adopted the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in persons, initiated by the Group.
ICAT was created in 2006, pursuant to UNGA resolution 61/180 “Improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons” adopted at the initiative by Belarus to foster a partnership among international organisations in the fight against trafficking in persons and comprises 22 Member Organisations and one Partner Organisation. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is a coordinator of ICAT. Chairmanship of the ICAT is performed on a rotating basis. In 2018 the Chair of ICAT is United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).