People Trafficking

23rd October 2019

Andrew Mitchell calls on the UN to modernise and introduce a new convention to tackle people traffickers.

Those on both Front Benches and my hon. Friend the Member for Thurrock (Jackie Doyle-Price) have spoken for the entire country at this horrific event. Is not one of the most specific lessons that the existing international conventions simply do not work any more, because of the events of recent years? We have seen this in the Mediterranean—off the coast of Libya—as well as in the channel in events such as that of today. This is what the modern equivalent of the slave trader is perpetrating. Will she use her past experience to try, along with other members of the Government, to persuade the United Nations to modernise and introduce a new convention that will, I hope, be more fit for purpose and avoid these terrible events happening in the future?

My right hon. Friend raises such an important point, and he speaks with great experience, insight and knowledge on this issue. He is right that as the world has changed and conflict has changed, we are seeing all sorts of desperate situations around the world. There is much more that we can do in leveraging in our own voice and our own influence with the big organisations such as the United Nations. There is no doubt that there is much more that can be done. He will also be familiar with the UN migration compact—I think it came about in 2015—which is doing great work. In fact, the United Kingdom stood up and spoke very convincingly about doing much more in this space. He is absolutely right that there is much more that we can do internationally.