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On the thematic event of the Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking

On July 16, 2019, on the sidelines of a high-level political forum on sustainable development in New York, a thematic event “Use of information and communication technologies to combat trafficking in persons” was held on the initiative of Belarus, organised in the run-up of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons (30 July) by the Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking, Inter-agency Coordinating Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT), International Telecommunication Union and NGO «Equality Now».

Group of friends United against Human Trafficking was created on the initiative of Belarus in 2010 and consists of 23 states from all regions of the world. Inter-agency Coordinating Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT) was established in 2006 and consists of 23 international agencies. OSCE and UN-Women are co-chairs of the ICAT in 2019.

During the event, Permanent Representative of Belarus to the UN Valentin Rybakov made a statement on behalf of the Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking, in which he noted that traffickers increasingly take advantage of new technologies, in particular information and communications technologies (ICTs), to recruit and exploit victims. The Permanent Representative also stressed that ICTs could also be a part of the solution to the problem of human trafficking, suggesting that potential of ICTs could be actively used in the integrated work of combating human trafficking, especially to investigate crimes and to assist and support victims.

During the discussion various aspects of the use of information and communication technologies in the fight against human trafficking were observed and recommendations to strengthen international cooperation in this area were made.