Special Rapporteur concludes visit to Seychelles
The Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children, Ms Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, concluded her mission to Seychelles on the 31st of January with a Press Statement to the media. During her mission, the Rapporteur met with the President, relevant Ministers, Members of the National Assembly, the National Committee on Trafficking in Persons, non-governmental and civil society organizations, as well as other relevant stakeholders. She also had the opportunity to do site visits to the Central Police Station, Indian Ocean Tuna Ltd and the President’s Village.
The Rapporteur commended the political will of the country to combat trafficking in persons, and Seychelles’ positive actions so far through signing and ratifying relevant international instruments such as the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children, as well as establishing a National Committee on Trafficking in Persons.
The Rapporteur has noted challenges that the Seychelles Government must address in order to successfully combat trafficking in persons, including putting place an effective legislative and policy framework; carrying out a baseline formative research to understand the manifestation, causes and consequences of trafficking in Seychelles; setting up effective protection mechanisms for victims, such as having a shelter; having systemic training activities for front line officers in identification and investigation of victims as well as perpetrators of trafficking in persons; as well as raising awareness for the general public on the issue.
The Government of Seychelles welcomes and appreciates the critical and conducive discussions on this matter, and remains keen on addressing shortcomings. Through the assistance of the UNODC, the Government has developed a draft anti-trafficking bill and a national action plan on trafficking persons, which are both being prepared to be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers. Training workshops, through cooperation with the International Organization on Migration, for front line officers, NGOs/CSOs and journalists have also been planned for first quarter of 2014. A media campaign, also in collaboration with the IOM, is expected to be launched in June 2014.
The Rapporteur will present her detailed findings to the UN Human Rights Council at its 26th Session in June 2014.