Opening Remarks by Hon. Chung Eui-yong,
Co-Chairman of the Standing Committee and Secretary General of the ICAPP
at the 2nd ICAPP Workshop on Human Trafficking
(Phnom Penh, Aptil 29, 2015)
Your Excellency Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers,
Your Excellency Keo Puth Reasmey, Advisor to the Royal Privy Council, and Senior Leader of the Funcinpec Party,
Madam Dr. Malahat Ibrahimgizi and Madam Dr. Park In-sook, Co-Chairpersons of the ICAPP Women’s Wing,
Distinguished Members of the ICAPP Standing Committee,
and Distinguished Guests, and Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before making my opening remarks, may I request all the participants to rise and to have a moment of silence to pay our respect to the victims who have been sacrificed by the devastating earthquake in Nepal last Saturday.
Let us have one minute of silence.
(One minute of silence)
Thank you and please take your seats.
Kathmandu was the gracious host for the 1st ICAPP Workshop on Human Trafficking in January last year. It was there that we launched the ICAPP campaign to combat human trafficking. And, we were all shocked and saddened by the great loss of precious lives and the enormous destruction of properties, including many historic relics.
On behalf of the ICAPP, International Conference of Asian Political Parties, we extend our deepest condolences and sympathy to the people of Nepal and our prayers are with them at this time of difficulty. We hope they will soon recover from the devastation and rebuild their nation as an even better place to live in. And we urge all the members in the international community to reach out to the Nepali people to help their efforts.
The ICAPP will also coordinate efforts with all the political parties in the region for prompt and efficient assistance through the ICAPP Program for Disasters Assistance (IPDA), which we launched in March of this year.
Now, it is my great honor and pleasure to welcome all of you to the 2nd ICAPP workshop on human trafficking. And I thank you for participating in the workshop.
The rapid pace of globalization in recent years has greatly contributed to tremendous growth in exchange of goods and manpower across national borders. Recent innovation in information technology has made the world even more inter-connected. Such progress, however, has not succeeded in providing answers to many challenges we face in the world. One third of the world population is still suffering from poverty. Social injustice continues to be an ever more serious issue in almost every society.
Under such a situation, it is only natural for people to seek better jobs and better places to live in outside of their national boundaries. Legal migration of workforce among countries should be encouraged. Illegal human trafficking, however, is altogether a different issue. This crime against humanity is conducted in the form of modern-day slavery.
Unfortunately, illegal trafficking in persons has intensified, especially that of women and young children. According to the "2014 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons" by the U.N., children make up one-third of the pool of detected victims of trafficking, up 5 percent from the year before. What is more, 70 percent of overall trafficking victims consist of women and young girls.
Despite various efforts and commitments, the situation is further deteriorating, not improving.
In fact, impunity for trafficking still prevails today. According to the same U.N. Report mentioned earlier, some 40 percent of the countries surveyed reported fewer than 10 convictions for offenders per year.
In such realities, it is essential for governments, international organizations and civil societies to work together on establishing a system, in which potential victims, or the weak and poor in society, are protected while the perpetrators are strictly constrained and punished.
The ICAPP is striving to help the global community find common strategies to tackle these challenges by promoting dialogue among political parties of different ideological orientations and backgrounds.
In this regard, it is extremely meaningful for all of us to have come together here in Phnom Penh to exert our efforts to stop the malicious trade in persons and devise innovative solutions to protect members of our community, especially those who are economically and socially vulnerable. I am sure that our deliberations for the next two days will enable us to have more clear ideas on how to achieve this goal.
Before concluding, I’d like to extend our most sincere gratitude to the Cambodian People’s Party and the Funcinpec Party of Cambodia for co-hosting this workshop. I’d also like to thank the ICAPP Women’s Wing and its Bureau Members for their initiative to launch a much needed campaign against human trafficking among political leaders of our region.
I would also like to thank the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) for their generous sponsorship of this workshop, on Human Trafficking in continuation of their contributions to the successful organization of the 1st workshop in Kathmandu last year.