Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    21 November 2017

    Collective horror at slave markets can drive our response to human trafficking, UNODC Chief tells UN Security Council

    VIENNA/NEW YORK, 21 November 2017 (UN Information Service) - I join the Secretary-General António Guterres in condemning slave markets in Libya, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Yury Fedotov, said today at an open debate of the UN Security Council today.  

    The UN Secretary-General, in his remarks to the Council, said: "We must act urgently to protect the human rights and dignity of migrant populations."

    Mr. Fedotov said: "Collective horror at this news serves an important purpose: it can quicken the pace of our actions, and encourage a global partnership against human trafficking."

    He was responding to the global outcry at widespread news reports and images showing young men being sold at slave markets operating in Libya. 

    Mr. Fedotov stressed UNODC was fully prepared to help the Libyan Government with strengthening their ability to prosecute the criminals, and to improve the capacities of the authorities to investigate the finances flowing from these crimes.

    He said UNODC could assist in aligning the country's national laws with the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, and its protocols on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants, as well as helping build partnerships among states in the region against this terrible crime.

    The UNODC head was speaking during an open debate at the Council on trafficking in persons in conflict situations, held under the Presidency of Italy, and designed to examine progress made in implementing Resolution 2331, and adopt a new resolution containing fresh goals and targets against trafficking in persons.

    Mr. Fedotov said UNODC's response to Resolution 2331 had been extensive including designing tools for UN bodies on conflict situations; training police officers on human trafficking who were seconded to Department of Peackeeping Operations (DPKO); assisting victims under the umbrella of  the UN Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking; and helping states to implement the Trafficking in Persons Protocol.

    Other speakers included Ms. Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, and Smail Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union.

    * *** *

    For further information contact:

    David Dadge
    Spokesperson, UNODC
    Phone: (+43 1) 26060-5629
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629
    Email: david.dadge[at]