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Experts call for access to global anti-trafficking pact

German envoy, Tobias Eichner, Kristina Uzelac head of operation- IOM,

By William Madouk Garang

National legal experts have called for an immediate agreement to the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and Palermo protocols to prevent and strengthen the fight against human trafficking and organized crimes in the country.

Transnational organized crimes (TOC) are coordinated crimes across national borders by groups or individuals, who plan and execute illegal business ventures such as conveying drugs and arms, trafficking for sex, material theft, and poaching.

TOCs are serious concerns to the world and South Sudan, organized criminals groups become advanced in the ways they commit crimes due to gaps and challenges affecting each country ranging from sanction, conflict, and lack of infrastructure, among others.

In responding to the lack of a national framework to address organized crimes including trafficking in persons – 3-day public consultation was conducted by Taskforce and legal experts to seek the country’s accession into UNTOC and ratify the Palermo protocol.  

Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Justice at the closure of public consultation on Friday – Senior Legal Counsel, Sabri Wani Ladu stressed that legal experts’ suggestions had concurred with the Ministry of Justice’s quest in joining an anti-trafficking pact.

“The Ministry of Justice is very appreciative, by the suggestion made by participants [legal experts] about whether the country to accede to this convention or not; in which they confirm that it’s very important for the country to accede to UN convention and the protocol for combating human trafficking,” Ladu lauded.

Acting Head of Operation of UN –IOM, Kristina Uzelac said the convention would help to bring human trafficking to an end, adding that a series of crises made it a breeding environment for human trafficking cases to happen.

“It’s definitely one of the most important international migration laws that will shape South Sudan to better respond to trafficking in persons,” Uzelac said.

“You are all aware that South Sudan is a bit of crisis, we have more than 2 million people who are being displaced.  We have here in Juba across to 1 million across the country are being forced to leave their houses because of flooding and all these conditions are actually a kind of breeding environment – if I can use that term for trafficking to happen, and for those perpetrators to attack the vulnerability of the people,” she added.

German envoy to South Sudan, Tobias Eichnerstated that South Sudan joining the UN convention is another milestone confirming that they support the country in its struggles for better migration management.

“South Sudanese who are looking for jobs abroad are also vulnerable to fall in the hands of human traffickers lured by false promises. At this time, traffickers even went on board in executing their work since the current country’s legal framework does not criminalize all forms of trafficking,” Eichner noted.

“By joining the UN convention and for the path, South Sudan is taking another important step toward integrating itself into cooperation with migrants of the international community. Germany together with EU support South Sudan in this effort to counter human trafficking for better migration management program,” he applauded.

A public consultation was organized by Taskforce for combating human trafficking and a legal advisory working group with funding from International Organization for Migration (IOM), European Union, and the German Agency for International Cooperation – GIZ.

The event was attended by members of legal experts, judges, members of organized forces, representatives from the Ministry of Justice, and the Mayor of Juba City Council, among other dignitaries.

When UNTOC and its protocols accede as it would help in the enactment of laws that combat international crimes, human trafficking, and worldwide banking secrecy as well as will be in a position to conduct a joint investigation with member states.

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