Human trafficking: "Let's not be powerless witnesses but fight against it"

"Each of us has an individual political responsibility: let us not tolerate slavery. Let us not be powerless witnesses but fight against it", today said Jose Mendes Bota (Portugal, EPP/CD) at the opening of the Interparliamentary Conference 'Parliaments united against trafficking in human beings', organised in Paris by PACE's Committee on Equal Opportunities. 

"Trafficking in human beings affects us all as members of parliament. Victims of trafficking are powerless. We have the power to change their situation. We have the power to give them a voice", he added. 

Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, underlined PACE's role in promoting the Council of Europe Convention against trafficking in human beings. "The Parliamentary Assembly has been at the forefront of promoting this Convention and today’s event again testifies to its continued effort in this respect.  Your action is crucial", she underlined.

"Trafficking in human beings affects all countries, in Europe and beyond. This is why it is so essential that we co-operate and co-ordinate our action at regional and global level in order to design successful anti-trafficking policies", she added.

Speakers in the conference include Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, Hanne Sophie Greve, Chairperson of GRETA, and Baroness Butler-Sloss, member of the House of Lords (United Kingdom) and Co-President of the Parliamentary Inter-Group on Trafficking in Human Beings.