Statement by Davíð Logi Sigurðsson, Director for Human Rights to the Third Committee
Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children
25 October 2019
We thank the Special Rapporteur for her interesting presentation and we convey our support to her mandate and work.
We welcome the focus on your report on workers who are victims of trafficking and other forms of severe exploitation when seeking access to remedies. We agree with the rapporteur that the human rights of persons who are victims of trafficking should be at the centre of all efforts to prevent and combat trafficking and that states must take further actions to combat trafficking in persons.
In this context, I would like to mention that the Icelandic Ministry of Justice issued its Emphases in Actions to Combat Human Trafficking and Other Forms of Exploitation in March this year that will serve as the new action plan on this issue.
The new action plan includes numerous points that are to be implemented to combat human trafficking and labor exploitation, and include the revision of current legislation, regulations and administrative directives on how to identify the victims of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation. The actions are furthermore designed to provide assistance and protection to the victims.
In the Special Rapporteur‘s report she mentions that lack of awareness among workers of their rights, coupled with bureaucratic and resource-intensive procedures, seriously limits workers’ trust in, and the likelihood that they will raise complaints on labour abuses through, mechanisms whose procedures and results are uncertain.
In that regard, the special rapporteur recommends states to design and implement an awareness-raising campaign on workers’ rights. Could the special rapporteur elaborate further on the contents of such an awareness-raising campaign and important elements contained therein, in particular taking into account gender-related factors.