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Statement submitted by Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

 

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Thank you Madam Chair for this opportunity to address the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised and the Protocols thereto.
My name is Dr Angela Reed; I offer this statement on behalf of my organization, the Sisters of Mercy and the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, present in 75 countries.
In our work with trafficking survivors, in particular, women and girls, we know that trafficking for sexual exploitation is fueled by demand and exploits vulnerability. We also know that human trafficking is a complex reality with multiple intersecting issues of inequality, educational and economic marginalization, forced migration and gendered violence over the entire life course.
Our work highlights that  individual experience, transitions and events over a person’s lifetime combined with the socio, economic and political environment, impacts life outcomes, concluding that, cumulative disadvantage over the life course renders people vulnerable to trafficking.
This critical understanding calls for a radical shift in how we frame the problem of trafficking: a shift that moves beyond understanding trafficking as a random act of victimization, to an understanding of systemic oppression which causes vulnerability over the life course.
This means that there is no quick fix or grand solutions for eliminating the exploitation and commodification of people. Instead, long term interventions are required, incorporating a human rights, gendered and age sensitive approach that address the complex and multifaceted factors that make people vulnerable to trafficking.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants offer new integrative approaches to combat trafficking  in persons and provide additional frameworks to support and reinforce the full implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and Protocols.
The legal framework presented in the  Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children enhances our work, enabling women to exercise real power, to address what is often a lifetime of disadvantage and to exercise control over their lives as rights-holders. Thank you again for this opportunity to share our insights.
 
Contact for further information
Angela Reed RSM, Ph.D
Representative, Sisters of Mercy (NGO
Mercy International Association: Global Action
777 UN Plaza, 6H, NY, NY 10017
E: mercyrep@mercyinternational.ie
C: 646 830 5126

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