Nadia Murad, a Yazidi rights activist and the first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist helping victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC) won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. The decision to jointly-award the prestigious prize, has the potential to help end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, the UN said - a cause which is central to the Organization's work.
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UNAIDS, chair of the H6 partnership (six United Nations bodies working on health-related issues) and the African Union have pledged to enhance their collaboration to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence, prevent HIV, and protect women's health and rights in humanitarian settings.
Women and girls across the world continue to confront ferocious violence, discrimination, harassment and even murder. For these victims, living in every country and drawn from every section of society, life is often filled with despair and misery. The scars of violence are not always visible.
Children make up almost a third of all human trafficking victims worldwide, according to a report released today by UNODC. Additionally, the report states that women and girls comprise 71 per cent of human trafficking victims, and highlights the recruitment or abduction of children by armed groups for forced marriages, sexual slavery or as combatants.
In 2012, 43,600 women globally were murdered at the hands of their intimate partner or another family member. That's 119 women, on average, killed every single day or one woman murdered every 12 minutes. These figures are harrowing and sobering in equal measure.
Human trafficking is a parasitic crime that feeds on vulnerability, thrives in times of uncertainty and profits from inaction. While the international community struggles with what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called the biggest refugee and migration crisis since World War Two, human traffickers and migrant smugglers are taking advantage of misery to turn a profit.
Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) calls for human traffickers and migrant smugglers to be stopped as part of overall response to refugee crisis.
While the world clearly has the political will and legal tools to take on human traffickers and their criminal networks, what are needed is more meaningful international cooperation and adequate funding to take effective action, senior United Nations officials said today, warning that the scourge now has victims spread across 152 different citizenships in 124 countries.