Issue 4: Trafficking in Women and Children

FWCW

  • Para 122. The effective suppression of trafficking in women and girls for the sex trade is a matter of pressing international concern. Implementation of the 1949 Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, 20/ as well as other relevant instruments, needs to be reviewed and strengthened. The use of women in international prostitution and trafficking networks has become a major focus of international organized crime. The Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on violence against women, who has explored these acts as an additional cause of the violation of the human rights and fundamental freedom of women and girls, is invited to address, within her mandate and as a matter of urgency, the issue of international trafficking for the purposes of the sex trade, as well as the issues of forced prostitution, rape, sexual abuse and sex tourism. Women and girls who are victims of this international trade are at an increased risk of further violence, as well as unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection, including infection with HIV/AIDS.

FWCW, Beijing, 1995

  • 130. By Governments of countries of origin, transit and destination, regional and international organizations, as appropriate:
    (a) Consider the ratification and enforcement of international conventions on trafficking in persons and on slavery;
    (b) Take appropriate measures to address the root factors, including external factors, that encourage trafficking in women and girls for prostitution and other forms of commercialized sex, forced marriages and forced labour in order to eliminate trafficking in women, including by strengthening existing legislation with a view to providing better protection of the rights of women and girls and to punishing the perpetrators, through both criminal and civil measures;
    (c) Step up cooperation and concerted action by all relevant law enforcement authorities and institutions with a view to dismantling national, regional and international networks in trafficking;
    (d) Allocate resources to provide comprehensive programmes designed to heal and rehabilitate into society victims of trafficking, including through job training, legal assistance and confidential health care and take measures to cooperate with non-governmental organizations to provide for the social, medical and psychological care of the victims of trafficking;
    e) Develop educational and training programmes and policies and consider enacting legislation aimed at preventing sex tourism and trafficking, giving special emphasis to the protection of young women and children.

Beijing +5

  • 14. …It is also noted that, in some countries, problems have arisen from the use of new information and communication technologies for trafficking in women and children and for purposes of all forms of economic and sexual exploitation.

  • 41. The patterns of migratory flows of labour are changing. Women and girls are increasingly involved in internal, regional and international labour migration to pursue many occupations, mainly in farm labour, domestic work and some forms of entertainment work. While this situation increases their earning opportunities and self-reliance, it also exposes them, particularly the poor, uneducated, unskilled and/or undocumented migrants, to inadequate working conditions, increased health risk, the risk of trafficking, economic and sexual exploitation, racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia, and other forms of abuse, which impair their enjoyment of their human rights and, in some cases, constitute violations of human rights.

  • 70. (a) Take appropriate measures to address the root factors, including external factors, that encourage trafficking in women and girls for prostitution and other forms of commercialized sex, forced marriages and forced labour in order to eliminate trafficking in women, including by strengthening existing legislations with a view to providing better protection of the rights of women and girls and to punishing the perpetrators, through both criminal and civil measures; (b) Devise, enforce and strengthen effective measures to combat and eliminate all forms of trafficking in women and girls through a comprehensive anti- trafficking strategy consisting of, inter alia, legislative measures, prevention campaigns, information exchange, assistance and protection for and reintegration of the victims and prosecution of all the offenders involved, including intermediaries;

ICPD POA, Cairo, 1994

  • 4.9. …Countries should prohibit degrading practices, such as trafficking in women, adolescents and children and exploitation through prostitution, and pay special attention to protecting the rights and safety of those who suffer from these crimes and those in potentially exploitable situations, such as migrant women, women in domestic service and schoolgirls. In this regard, international safeguards and mechanisms for cooperation should be put in place to ensure that these measures are implemented.

  • 10.16 (c) To prevent all international trafficking in migrants, especially for the purposes of prostitution;

  • 10.18. Governments of both receiving countries and countries of origin should adopt effective sanctions against those who organize undocumented migration, exploit undocumented migrants or engage in trafficking in undocumented migrants, especially those who engage in any form of international traffic in women, youth and children…

ICPD +5

  • 24 (b). To prevent trafficking in migrants, in particular women and children subjected to forced labour or sexual or commercial exploitation; to develop clear penalties for such trafficking and migrant smuggling, backed by effective administrative procedures and laws, ensuring punishment of those who commit such crimes; and to finalize as soon as possible trafficking and smuggling protocols which are currently being negotiated by the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice;

World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen, 1995

  • Commitment 6 (y). Intensify and coordinate international support for education and health programmes based on respect for human dignity and focused on the protection of all women and children, especially against exploitation, trafficking…

World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna, 1993

  • 38. In particular, the World Conference on Human Rights stresses the importance of working towards the elimination of violence against women in public and private life, the elimination of all forms of sexual harassment, exploitation and trafficking in women…

Vienna +5

  • I. Strengthen the human rights protection of trafficked women and girls in order to eliminate organized and other forms of trafficking, including trafficking for the purposes of sexual and economic exploitation.
    Take steps to enable women who are victims of trafficking to: (1) make complaints to the police; (2) be available when required by the criminal justice system; and (3) ensure that during this time they have access to social, medical, financial and legal assistance, and protection, as appropriate.

Millennium Declaration, 2000

  • 9. To intensify our efforts to fight transnational crime in all its dimensions, including trafficking as well as smuggling in human beings and money laundering.