The 15th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights will be hosted by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland. Ambassador Michèle RAMIS, Ambassador-at-large on organised crime, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development welcomed the event. Amb. RAMIS highlighted, “Each year, more than 2 million people, mostly women and children, are victims of human trafficking. ASEM member countries need to build a strong partnership to protect the human rights of trafficking victims”.
Ms Madina JARBUSSYNOVA, OSCE Special Representative and Coordinator to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, and Ms Myria VASSILIADOU, EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator will be among the keynote speakers at this event.
Bringing over 125 participants including senior government representatives and civil society experts from across Asia and Europe, the Seminar aims to develop recommendations for strengthening human rights in relation to anti-trafficking measures.
The closed-door working group discussions during the Seminar will focus on: preventive measures, protection and assistance of trafficked persons, access to justice, and international cooperation against trafficking. “Human Trafficking is a global challenge, affecting all countries in Asia and Europe equally. While the prevention of trafficking and the prosecution of traffickers is important, we also need to devote equal, if not more, attention to the protection and assistance of trafficking victims. The 15th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights is a timely event for us to focus on these aspects of anti-trafficking”, emphasised Ambassador ZHANG Yan, Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF).
The Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights Series was initiated by France and Sweden at the 1st ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM1) in 1997. In 2011, the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines joined the Series as an organiser. The initiative promotes mutual understanding and cooperation between Asia and Europe in the area of political dialogue, particularly on human rights issues. ASEF has been the secretariat for the Seminar Series since 2000. Participation in the Seminar is by invitation only.
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