Closing Remarks in Third ICAPP Workshop, Islamabad, Pakistan-2016
Madam Chairperson of this session and Vice-Chairperson of the ICAPP Women's Wing Hon.Senator Nuzhat Sadiq,
Hon.Governor from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province Hon.Iqbal Zafar Jhagra
Co-Chairmen of the ICAPP Standing Committee and Secretary General of ICAPP Hon.Chung Eui-yong ,
Hon.Mushahid Hussain Sayed ,Special Rapporteur of ICAPP and Chairman of the Senate Committee, PAk Muslim League-q
,Mr.Giray Tezel , Program Co-ordinator of TIKA,
My Colleagues from Nepal Fmr.PM.J.N.Khanal,
Esteemed Delegates from various countries,
Representatives of Civil Society and Media,
I am privileged to be invited to make closing remarks at this Third ICAPP Workshop on Human Trafficking being held here for the last three days. It is a matter of immense pleasure to meet all our distinguished friends including so many top and leading members of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) in this beautiful city of Islamabad so soon after the most successful ICAPP Special Workshop on Democratic Transition in Nepal held in Kathmandu only last month. I deeply appreciate the warmth of traditional welcome and hospitality of the Government and people of Pakistan. Nepal and Pakistan enjoy close social, cultural and economic relations for ages.The moment I landed in Pakistan, Lahore flashed in my mind, because It is associated with Nepali people's feelings since long. Lahore, one of the historic cities of Pakistan, is specially well-known in Nepal as it once served as one of the first recruiting centres of Gorkha forces by East India Company. This led to the use of the term, Lahure, to all Nepalese who went out for livelihood and other purposes.
Excellencies and Friends ,
Standing before this podium , I would like to salute Ms.Chari Maya Tamang ,a Nepali women , who was sold at the broth all of India , at the age of 16 .She was later rescued by the Indian Police . Then ,she sued against the trafficker's ring ,started fighting in favour of victims of trafficking . Because of her dedication and hard work She was honored with the International award for fighting against prostitution and women trafficking .United States Secretary of State Hillary R.Clinton honored her by "Hero Acting to end Modern day Slavery Award, 2011 ", later on she was awarded with "Ramon Magsaysay Award,2013.Likewise I would salute Ms.Anuradha Koirala who was conferred "CNN Hero ,2010" and Puspa Basnet for being honored by "CNN Hero ,2012 ".
I have the honour to bring the message of greetings and goodwill from the people of Nepal to the friendly people of Pakistan and to all distinguished ICAPP delegates who have assembled here for the specific workshop.
The people of Nepal specially appreciate ICAPP's proactive role in supporting Nepal's consistent struggle for full-fledged pluralist democracy, human rights, fundamental liberties, promulgation of the new constitution and expeditious social and economic advancement. It also hosted several conferences and workshops on Nepal.
Distinguished Friends and Participants,
Coming back to the relevance and pertinence of the Third ICAPP Workshop on Human Trafficking that is going to close today, I thank the ICAPP for choosing the right topic as human trafficking remains one of the most heinous crimes in various parts of the world. This conference is also the culmination of two Special ICAPP Workshops on Human Trafficking held in Kathmandu in January 2014 and Phnom Penh in April 2015 respectively.
The Kathmandu Statement and Phnom Penh Statement are very important in the sense that they embodied the commitment of all parties to act in perfect unison to do away with human trafficking as it was taken as a major crime against humanity. I congratulate you, Madam Chairperson in your capacity as Co--Chair of the ICAPP Women's Wing and all your colleagues for such a hard work done by the ICAPP Women's Wing since its inception. The three bureau meetings and three special workshops including the present event are an eloquent testimony to your great contributions and the beehive of activities of your unit in recent times. I take this opportunity to thank four principal political parties of Pakistan for kindly co-hosting the third workshop with such distinction. I also thank Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) for sponsoring all the three ICAPP workshops dedicated to the problem of human trafficking.
It is a sad story that no region or country is fully immune from the occurrence and impact of the crime of human trafficking. Despite stricter mode of punishment for offenders and international commitment and vigilance to prevent and do away with trafficking, the intensity and scope of the heinous crime remain unabated.
There always was and is huge political economy of this basest crime. As the International Labor organization (ILO) estimated in 2014, forced labor generates 150 billion dollars of illicit profit each year. The estimated illicit profit is close to the size of the GDP of Bangladesh, about eight times to the size GDP of Nepal and twice the size of the globally hyped, China-India annual trade.
A current UNODC report estimate indicates that the profits from trafficking are significant and rising. The report places human trafficking as second most profitable crime after the sale of drugs and rank it more profitable than the sale of arms, leaving aside the secondary profits from compelled commercial sex and labor, including these would be much higher. According to the data prepared by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Prevention (UNODC) in 2014, nationals of a whopping list of 152 countries were identified to have been the victims of human trafficking in as many as 124 countries making them helpless victims in 510 identified trafficking flows illegally conducted by culprits.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Increasing violent conflicts, political instability, social frustration and economic deprivation around the globe are preparing conducive environment and increasing vulnerable population for trafficking to take place. Adverse human security conditions, conflict and post conflict areas have led to forced migration, thus creating further opportunities for predatory traffickers in our region and beyond. Lack of opportunity for employment, education, economic empowerment, societal and state protection exacerbates the vulnerability of trafficking.
Human trafficking is at the core of gross and appalling violations of human rights and fundamental liberties. South Asia is one of the persistent and most intensely struck problem areas as far as human trafficking is concerned. While human trafficking is in the worst shape in our region, the gravity of the problem is more accentuated in terms of trafficking of women and girls who are comparatively more vulnerable. Despite several agreements and accords at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels, the crime remains at the core of our social problems needing urgent and concerted action at all fronts including government, civil society and political parties and people at large. Many countries of South Asia have acceded to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). Likewise, SAARC has adopted a convention on preventing and combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution. There is every need to harmonize the SAARC .all regional convention and International one with the UNTOC protocol on human trafficking to minimize and eradicate this crime.
I am very happy that the distinguished participants including experts had a detailed deliberation on the intricacies of the problem of human trafficking during this workshop and the Islamabad Statement is sure to reiterate our common resolve to unitedly tackle this problem. This third ICAPP workshop has been successful in encouraging all of us to work for promotion and protection of women's rights in our region and beyond. All the people who are sensible on this issue of trafficking need to join hands together to prevent and combat trafficking in person's, paying particular attention to women and children; to protect and assist the victims of such trafficking, with full respect for their human rights. I have no doubt that this workshop would go a long way in raising public awareness on seriousness and urgency of resolving this transnational crime through trans-border networks of cooperation and fast-track and stringent punishment system for offenders.
In sum, holistic approach and comprehensive package of solutions that is combination of political, social, developmental and law enforcement measure can only ensure the safer world without trafficking. I believe our common understanding of a problem and collective efforts can only lead to a prosperous and secure future!
On a closing note, let me once again extend sincere thanks to the Government and people of Pakistan and our dedicated friends associated with the ICAPP for making this workshop a grand success. Let the Islamabad Statement act as the trail-blazer of our sustained drive to successfully fight against such crimes in all its forms and manifestations.
Thank you all for your kind patience.