First High-Level Meeting of ICAT Promotes Better Coordination to End Human Trafficking

Event Date: 
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

First High-Level Meeting of ICAT Promotes Better Coordination to End Human Trafficking

On 2 May 2018, heads of the United Nations and other international and regional organizations that make up the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT) met for the first time in London.

ICAT is a policy forum and coordination mechanism mandated by the UN General Assembly to facilitate a holistic and comprehensive approach to preventing and combating trafficking in persons, including protection and support for victims of trafficking.

This first meeting of Heads of ICAT Organizations was a significant occasion reflecting the increasing importance UN agencies, Member States and the international community are attaching to ICAT, as the United Nations’ main inter-agency mechanism focused on countering trafficking in persons.  

The meeting confirmed a strong determination to pursue joint efforts to address critical trafficking issues with one single voice, and to contribute to key policy developments at global level.

"We must work together across the UN pillars of peace and security, human rights and development to prevent and stop human trafficking and most of all, protect the vulnerable. The Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons can unite international engagement and action against this terrible crime", said Yury Fedotov, Executive Director, UNODC, and ICAT Coordinator.

ICAT members reflected on the Group’s achievements and activities to date as outlined in the report: “An overview: key activities and achievements of ICAT(April, 2018).

10 decisions of strategic and procedural importance were adopted at the meeting, giving ICAT a solid foundation for its continued development into a robust inter-agency mechanism, equipped to participate more effectively and efficiently in global efforts to combat trafficking in persons.

In addition, ICAT members expressed a desire to devote further attention to the intersections between trafficking and conflict, forced labour, trafficking in children, gender dimension of trafficking, and trafficking in mixed migration flows.

"To combat human trafficking, we need to do more to provide safe and legal pathways for all people on the move - focusing special attention on the most vulnerable children and young people. And we must also do more to strengthen the links between sound migration and counter-trafficking policies, which can and should be mutually reinforcing", said Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF, and ICAT Chair.

ICAT is currently made up of the following organizations with a broad range of key expertise and experience in counter-trafficking in persons.

  • Council of Europe (CoE);
  • Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED);
  • United Nations Department of Political Affairs (DPA);
  • United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO);
  • International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO);
  • International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD);
  • International Police Cooperation Organization (ICPO – Interpol);
  • International Labour Organization (ILO);
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM);
  • Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR);
  • Office on Genocide Prevention and Responsibility to Protect (OGPRtoP);
  • Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict (OSRSG-SVC) 
  • Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE);
  • United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS);
  • United Nations Development Program (UNDP);
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO);
  • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA);
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF);
  • United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI);
  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC);
  • United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women); and
  • World Bank.