Agenda item 2(b): Review of the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols thereto: Trafficking in Persons Protocol

17 October 2012

Thank you Madame Chair,

The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, the World Society of Victimology, the International Commission of Catholic Prison Pastoral Care, the Academic Council on the United Nations Systemand the Vienna Alliance of NGOs welcome this opportunity to discuss the implementation of the UNProtocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

States do not and cannot work alone to end human trafficking, a situation that was recognised by the negotiators of the UN Trafficking Protocol. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other elements of civil society are named as actors in the Protocol.[1] As a recognised part of the anti-trafficking response,these non-State actors – whose roles range from direct service providers for survivors of traffickingto facilitators of multi-stakeholder initiatives– must also be meaningfully included in the process to review the implementation of the Protocol. This is not about“naming and shaming” States. This is about accountability. Accountability of all the actors named in the Trafficking Protocol and of all actors who are in receipt of funds to deliver benefits to survivors of trafficking. This is a call to ensure we have the opportunity to identify good practices and challenges from whichever stakeholder they come from. This is about improving the efficacy of anti-trafficking initiatives.

The need for international cooperation in fulfilling our collective duties has been recognised by States. We respectfully remindStates that at the 19th session of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna in May 2010 they adopted a resolution that made explicit the vital role of civil society in “effectively countering the threat of trafficking in persons”:

Recognizing also that broad international cooperation between Member States and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations is essential for effectively countering the threat of trafficking in persons and other contemporary forms of slavery,[2]

This confirmation was reiterated in the same year, at the 12th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, held in Salvador, Brazil.[3] The Salvador Declaration clearly recognises the importance of civil society participation in crime prevention efforts and specifically, in the work to end human trafficking.[4] In particular:

Paragraph 33. We recognize that the development and adoption of crime prevention policies and their monitoring and evaluation are the responsibility of States. We believe that such efforts should be based on a participatory, collaborative and integrated approach that includes all relevant stakeholders including those from civil society.

Agenda item 1(f): General discussion

16 October 2012

Mr President,

The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women and the Vienna Alliance of NGOs welcome the opportunity to discuss the implementation of the UNConvention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols.

Transnational organized crime is complex and requires complex strategies in response. There is no one answer. We require comprehensive, multi-sectoral, evidence-based approaches. To find effective solutions, we need to collaborate – to share both successes and challenges, technical assistance needs and good practices. We need to talk and listen to, and learn from, each other.

There is still much that we do not know. Data is urgently needed on the impact of the implementation of UNTOC and its Protocols on the people they are intended to benefit. Moreover, research has shown that some of these efforts have impacts, not always positive, on many others who are not part of these target communities.

Agenda item 5(a): Ratification and implementation of the UNTOC and the Protocols thereto

Statement delivered by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW)

25 April 2012

Madam Chair,

The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, speaking on behalf of a number of NGOs including the Vienna Alliance of NGOs, welcomes the opportunity to discuss the implementation of the UNTOC and its Protocols, including the Trafficking Protocol. In the years since that Protocol’s adoption we have seen the ‘anti-trafficking industry’ become big business, with hundreds of millions of dollars spent in the name of ending human trafficking. With so many actors involved – 147 States party to the UN Trafficking Protocol, UN and other intergovernmental agencies, and a huge number of non-governmental actors, as well as celebrities, journalists and major media operations – there are now numerous, and often competing, initiatives to end human trafficking. So have these funds been spent wisely? Have these efforts been effective – for states and for the people who have been trafficked?

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Agenda item 3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

Written statement submitted by the Global Alliance against Traffic in Women

Reducing the risk of human trafficking by increasing the opportunities for safe migration

Human trafficking mostly happens in the context of labour migration. People leave home in search of a better life and get exploited by unscrupulous agents or abusive employers. While the third parties make huge profits, the workers often find themselves in a limbo. When assistance reaches them it is often too little or too late. Different languages and legal systems in countries of origin and destination may impede their access to justice. Many times the work they do does not even fall under the labour laws of the destination country. The majority of trafficked persons are migrant workers in the informal, unorganised and unprotected sectors.

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Agenda item 4: Thematic discussion on the theme “Violence against migrants, migrant workers and their families.”

Statement by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) 

24 April 2012 (delivered 25 April 2012)

In every period of human history people have migrated in the hope of a better quality of life. Border controls do little to stop them. What they do is determine how migrants will cross them, what status they will have on arrival, the risks they will face in transit and at destination, and their access to remedies. Increased border controls and security push people to paying higher fees & taking more dangerous routes.They create a group of people that is at risk of exploitation in transit and in the workplace.

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