Putting an End to Human Trafficking:

Regional and International Programmes

Author: UNFPA

As part of its commitment to the human and reproductive rights of women, UNFPA is one of many UN agencies working to bring to public attention to trafficking of women and children. More action is needed, however, and potential UNFPA entry points include (a) technical assistance and training to governmental and other agencies to increase their capacity to develop policies and other anti-trafficking measures; (b) counselling for victims of trafficking; (c) medical supplies and services, including reproductive health services, to victims of trafficking; and (d) awareness and advocacy campaigns.

In 1994, UNFPA provided funds to assist an international non-governmental organization with the production of a film and other awareness/information materials on violence against women and children, including the issue of trafficking. In 1996, UNFPA also participated in the International Congress Against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, held in Stockholm. The Fund also participated in the Second World Congress Against Commercial Exploitation of Children, which took place in Japan in December 2001.

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Twenty international organizations, including UNFPA and several NGOs have joined together to tackle the problem of trafficking in the Mekong sub-region collectively with the support of the United Nations Foundation. Widening economic disparities in the area are fueling migration for better economic opportunities, and the low status of women and girls these groups particularly susceptible to exploitation. The complexity of the task at hand requires a truly collaborative and innovative approach, and the project's Inter-agency Working Group brings together expertise in many areas to provide an opportunity for a coordinated, effective response to combating the exploitation and abuse of women and children being trafficked.

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UNFPA is among the collaborating UN agencies involved in a proposed joint umbrella project in Nepal, entitled "Beyond Trafficking -- a Joint Initiative in the Millennium Against Trafficking of Girls and Women". The overall objective of the project, is to reduce the incidence of trafficking of women and girls by redressing the gender inequities and discrimination practices that make women and girls so vulnerable. Through nation-wide media campaigns and networking, the project aims to galvanize a public response against traffickers. The project is designed for two eighteen-month periods. As a preparatory phase of the project, UNFPA has provided a small grant to support the production of training modules on health and counseling by the National Health Training Centre of the Ministry of Health.