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The Ambassador briefed the delegation on the current political situation in Thailand. His input covered the recent history of the political situation in the country. He highlighted that power could shift swiftly between factions. He advocated that South Africa should retain, as far as possible, a neutral stance to the current political impasse. Speaker Sisulu also pointed out that the approach of South Africa was to always firstly pursue and encourage the route of dialogue to resolve a political crisis.
The meeting then proceeded to look at gender activities of the IPU including the work of the Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians, the work and recommendations of the Gender Partnership Group and recent specialized IPU meetings. The meeting was also informed that the delegations from Malta, Qatar, Papua New Guinea and Saudi Arabia would be reduced by one person as a result of being composed exclusively of parliamentarians of the same sex for three consecutive sessions of the Assembly.
The sub-themes for the two groups were: narrative hansard i. Trafficking of women. This group discussed concrete ways and means to prevent trafficking of women, punish perpetrators and secure support to ensure the rehabilitation of women victims of trafficking. The role of women in combating drug trafficking. This group discussed the impact on women and families and the role of women in terms of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
The amendments would be aimed at introducing a gender perspective to the resolution. It was noted that the South African Police Service had secured a total conviction rate of just five cases for human trafficking in the last financial year, with only 29 successful detections, despite it being known that South Africa was a source, destination and transit country for trafficking in persons and was on an international human trafficking watch list.
This conviction was secured by using racketeering laws related to sexual exploitation to convict a couple, a South African and a Thai national. South Africa's Human Trafficking bill was only recently introduced in Parliament.