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New UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons since August 1

Lisa Kerker

Ms. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, from Nigeria, has taken up office as United Nations Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children. Ms. Ezeilo is a human rights lawyer and professor at the University of Nigeria, and is involved in women’s rights organisations. Ms Ezeilo is the second Special Rapporteur on Trafficking, succeeding Sigma Huda from Bangladesh.

Sigma Huda, during her term, carried out much important and appreciated work, working on trafficking for prostitution and highlighting the relationship between trafficking and the demand for commercial sexual exploitation. You find the latest report by Ms. Huda here. Sigma Huda was arrested in Bangladesh in 2007, and has been held in detention despite multiple serious health problems. This was after trials over which the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers has expressed concern regarding alleged irregularities, the right to legal representation and the independence of the court.

The focus of the Special Rapporteur is to focus on the human rights aspects of victims of trafficking. The Special Rapporteur submits annual reports with recommendations on measures to uphold and protect human rights of the victims. Within the mandate lies taking action on violations committed against trafficked persons and on situations in which there has been a failure to protect their human rights, through individual complaints; undertaking country visits to study the situation and formulate recommendations to prevent and or combat trafficking and protect the human rights of its victims in specific countries and/or regions.

For more information about the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children click here.