Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement on World Day against Trafficking in Persons on 30 July:
Every day, people all over the world become the victims of human traffickers. Human trafficking is not only a form of organised crime. For in all its manifestations it also constitutes a grave violation of human rights. Whether it be for sexual or labour exploitation or any other form of exploitation, human trafficking is inhuman and must be tackled with vigour!
Here in Germany, too, there are unfortunately still people who have fallen victim to human trafficking and are being ruthlessly exploited. As human trafficking seldom stops at borders, efforts to combat it in Germany can only be successful if there is close cooperation in the spheres of prevention, criminal prosecution and victim protection at international level.
The victims of human trafficking are almost always people who find themselves in especially vulnerable situations. That is precisely why the focus has to be on protecting the victims when combatting human trafficking. Therefore, we are calling in various international bodies, for example the UN Human Rights Council, for a human rights-based approach to tackling human trafficking. Germany’s commitment is also evident in our contributions to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, which helps thousands of victims of human trafficking every year to overcome their trauma and reintegrate into society.
Human trafficking in all its forms constitutes a grave violation of human rights and is by nature a phenomenon that transcends borders. Germany is tackling the challenge of human trafficking by seeking joint solutions with other member states in a host of international organisations and bodies, in particular with our EU partners and in the Council of Europe, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the Organization for Security and Co‑operation in Europe and the United Nations.
On top of this, every year the Federal Foreign Office supports projects in many countries aimed at combatting human trafficking, and furthermore has been the largest contributor for many years to the Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery set up by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR.