High-Level Event on Trafficking in Persons and Sustainable Procurement New York, 26 September 2021 An event in the margins of the 76th session of the U.N. General Assembly to launch the Issue Brief on “Preventing Trafficking in Persons: The Role of Public Procurement” by the Inter-Agency Coordination Group Against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT)
OF ST. JOHN OF JERUSALEM OF RHODES AND OF MALTA
Ambassador to monitor and combat trafficking in persons
High-Level Event on Trafficking in Persons and Sustainable Procurement
New York, 26 September 2021
An event in the margins of the 76th session of the U.N. General Assembly
to launch the Issue Brief on “Preventing Trafficking in Persons: The Role of Public Procurement”
by the Inter-Agency Coordination Group Against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT)
Statement by the Sovereign Order of Malta
Professor Michel Veuthey
Ambassador of the Sovereign Order of Malta
to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Mr. President, Excellencies,
The Sovereign Order of Malta would like to thank ICAT for organizing this “High-Level Event on Trafficking in Persons and Sustainable Procurement” to launch the Issue Brief on “Preventing Trafficking in Persons: The Role of Public Procurement”.
While law enforcement responses to human trafficking are the clear focus globally, they are entirely supply side. Supply-side measures can deter, displace, and disrupt specific operations, but do not significantly impact neither the size nor the nature of the illicit markets for labor. They also fail to counter the perpetual upward spiral of demand that drives the trafficking of people. This overwhelming supply-side focus has meant that legal responses on the demand side of the equation are seriously lacking.
The Order of Malta, in cooperation with IOM, organizes a Webinar on the 12th of October
on “Legal Approaches to reduce the demand behind human trafficking” with Brian Iselin, founder of “SlaveFreeTrade”, Judge Marc Steiner, specialist of public procurement in Switzerland, and John Anthony McCarthy, QC, Chair of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney (Australia) Anti-Slavery Task Force.
You are all invited to register on www.adlaudatosi.org
This webinar is designed to provoke ideas about how the law can be used to drive demand-side responses, reducing the driving force for all forms of human trafficking.
The new public procurement regulations should put the importance of price into perspective in favor of quality. The key words of the new laws should be: quality, innovation and sustainability. An example is the completely revised Swiss Federal Law on Public Procurement (LMP). It entered into force on January 1, 2021. It is no longer the most economically advantageous offer that wins the tender, but the one that offers the most advantages in the broadest social and ecological sense.
Turning away from the “greed first” mentality is obviously of paramount importance. The focus on price has led to dumping phenomena, resulting in the relocation of certain tasks abroad, often at the expense of the environment and the respect of social standards. Furthermore, this focus on price has led many bidders not to include their best products and services in the bid, since these would have pushed up the price. Selecting bids according to criteria such as sustainability or innovative capacity puts an end to the neo-liberal paradigm of the 1990s, in which market openness, competition, and price were paramount. It can be said that the focus on price has stifled innovation. Competition on quality is more beneficial for innovation than competition on price.
Allow me to briefly describe the Order of Malta’s contributions to the fight against human trafficking
(1) Raising awareness
- Through its bilateral (110 States) and multilateral diplomatic network, organizing and participating in conferences
(2) Assisting victims through medical and social programs
- Through its National Associations and its worldwide humanitarian organization “Malteser International”.
- With a pilot project in Lagos: “Bakhita Centre” with Sr Patricia Ebegbulem, SSL (Sisters of Saint Louis)
- Gathering and disseminating good practices on the site www.christusliberat.org
(3) Training caregivers online (in English and soon French on www.cuhd.org)
and establishing partnerships with universities (Webster, Geneva, and Nice)
- Webster: “The Use and Abuse of High Technology in Human Trafficking” (2020).
- Nice: Research Center (2021) (“Legal Clinic”) on the implementation of the 2011/36 European Union Directive
(4) Organizing 12 webinars on human trafficking ( www.adlaudatosi.org ) with Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish subtitles in cooperation with Sr. Mirjam Beike, Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd (RGS).