60,000-100,000 children in the Philippines are believed to be a part of a children prostitution ring. Over 1,200 people were involved in a human trafficking case in Indonesia after being trafficked as far as Saudi Arabia and Morocco.
A concerning number for such an inhumane act.
Human trafficking is one of the most concerning issues in South East Asia. Being a continent where a majority of the population are in poverty, it makes it an easy target for human traffickers. Affecting all men, women, and children alike, human trafficking victims often end up in sexual exploitation or forced labor. This happens everyday to thousands of people, making it a never-ending cycle.
This issue was brought up on the second day of the MUN conference at UWCSEA in the UN Special Conference Committee, with Indonesia submitting a very well-thought resolution on how to fix human trafficking in South East Asia together with Brunei, Japan, Cambodia, Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Laos as co-submitters. Having UN’s Human Rights Council as a big part of it, they encouraged the nations to tackle the issue directly, offering 9 big solutions to the committee.
The resolution talked about lowering the rate of human trafficking, but also something that is also as important, the well-being of the victims which is one of the biggest issues in human trafficking. Another one of the topics that was repeatedly brought up in the discussion was about the mobile application by the UNHRC that can assist, aid, and identify victims being human trafficked.
The delegate of Indonesia encouraged the cooperation of ASEAN countries, which was backed up by the delegate of Thailand who stood up to share their stands on why ASEAN countries must cooperate in the issue.
“This issue has been affecting not only our countries, but has had a huge effect on our citizens. Seeing as our citizens in South East Asia is very subjected to vulnerable to exploitation.” The delegate of Thailand said. “The delegate would like to draw the house’s attention to clause 9, which encourages the cooperation of ASEAN countries.”
The delegates of Myanmar offered an amendment to be debated to cross out a clause that was talking about dealing with post-traumatic effects for the victims. They claimed that this solution was invisible to Less Economically Developed Countries, as they might not have the funds to realize the solutions stated––and even if they did, it would’ve been better to use the money for some more “fundamental issues” such as education and such.
“There is not any infinite funding, infinite resources, infinite time. It will be more effective if the resources are implemented for more fundamental things instead.” The delegates of Myanmar said.
This got a big response from the rest of the committee, and not in the best way. The delegate of Thailand questioned why the delegates of Myanmar were implying that human trafficking is not a big enough issue for the UN to provide unlimited funding for. This amendment was also rejected strongly by the delegates of Indonesia, who believed that psychological well being of the victims is as important as many others, and while the problem lies within LEDC’s limited funds, it’s exactly why it’s partnering up with UN’s HRC for funding. This amendment did bring up a very important problem in solving problems, however, it did not pass and no changes were made to the amendment.
The delegate of Indonesia closed off the debate by asking the nations to cooperate in terms of combating the issue of human trafficking directly. The resolution passed with flying colors, with 10 votes for, 1 against, and 0 abstain.
Until this moment, human trafficking is still happening somewhere in this world. It’s probably happening somewhere we never have the capability to imagine, or maybe it’s happening right under our noses and we simply haven’t been opening our eyes wide enough. Along with many others, it’s such an inhumane thing to do to fellow human beings, and yet.
Hopefully a world where we can fall asleep at night knowing that these terrible things are not happening out there, so close to where we are, will come. Even if now, we still have to close our eyes to see it. Hopefully, this simulation of UN debate discussing solutions to the issue of human trafficking is at least one step towards that world.
Inkling is UWCSEA East's Literary Magazine. It is a student-led publication that aims to showcase the diversity and creativity of our school through its output.
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