Sex trafficking destroys lives, families, communities and fuels terrorism
Side Event on « Responding to the Needs of Yazidi Women and Girls Captured by Da’esh » - Statement by Mrs Marie-Laure Charrier, Human Rights expert of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations.
As a representative of France, I would like to start by thanking Human Rights First, the Permanent Missions of the United States and of Iraq for organizing this important event. I also warmly thank Mr Khaleel Aldakhi and Mrs Ameena Saeed Hasan for participating. You risked your lives to save other lives, and now you’re here to witness and you oblige us to act. Your presence is instrumental to let us know what is the plight of the Yezidi women and the true nature of Dae’sh’s crimes.
We know that there is a broad will to put an end to trafficking in women and children and to sexual violence. We can rely on effective UN mechanisms to help us, such as the Special Representative Mrs Bangura, the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in persons, as well as the UNODC. We welcome the nomination of Nadia Murad as goodwill ambassador for the dignity of the survivors of Human Trafficking on September 16.
The Security Council has also a role to play. Sex trafficking destroys lives, families and communities, but it also fuels terrorism, first by increasing their financial resources but also by attracting new recruits through forced marriage promises. Sexual violence is among the strategies used by terrorist groups, such as Dae’sh, and poses a threat to international peace and security. France thinks this issue must continue to be addressed by the Security Council. The Statement that was adopted last December is a first step. This dimension must be also taken into account in the fight against terrorism : we must strengthen the role and participation of women in defining and taking part of the counter-terrorist strategies.
France is also committed. At the ministerial conference of 8 September 2015 on victims of ethnic and religious violence in the Middle East, our then Minister of foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius announced the creation of a fund for minorities that has been credited with € 10 million to implement the priorities of the Paris Agenda. This support fund covers the Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan.
The French Agency for development will devote additional € 15 million for economic and social development programs in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq for the benefit of refugees and host communities. In refugee camps, France provides help to yezidi women through psychological help as well as reproductive and sexual health programs
The preparation of the return of displaced persons and refugees will also remain one of our priorities, particularly through anti-mine programs in Iraq and Syria. The Minister of Defense in France has organized demining training programs for experts Iraqi security forces. But If we want the Yezidi women to go home and feel secure it is not only a matter of security. Support for the rehabilitation of basic services will be provided especially to the Sinjar region in preparation for the return of the Yezidi population. There is also a responsibility for each State to empower, political and economic power, and control of their bodies after what they have undergone.
Finally, I want to recall that the crimes that you have witnessed cannot remain unpunished ; justice must be made, and accountability must prevail. For this your testimony will be instrumental. We have to listen to your appeal and we will do our best to translate it into action. We must maintain the mobilization of the international community on this priority issue for France and for the United Nations.