Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women

Human Rights
at home, abroad and on the way...


Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women

Human Rights
at home, abroad and on the way...

Events and News

GAATW Working Paper Series


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AU PAIR: Challenges to safe migration and decent work

In GAATW’s 2010 Working Paper Series Beyond Borders, links between trafficking and migration, labour, gender and security are explored and developed conceptually. This working paper seeks to build on the earlier work by developing a practical understanding of safe migration, with specific reference to a case study on au pair migration.

The scope for this research focus on Filipina au pairs in three European countries: Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands, which are the top receivers of au pair migrants from the Philippines. This working paper provides an overview of the existing policies on au pair migration in these three countries and also includes a case study of the situations and experiences of Filipina au pairs in one country of destination: Denmark.

This paper includes three separate sections of analysis which are summed up in a chapter on recommendations at the end. The first section gives an introduction to safe migration, in particular, to its challenges, and considers how concepts related to safe migration can be linked to au pair migration. The second section presents existing policies and regulations of the country of origin (the Philippines) and the destination countries (Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands). The third section presents the findings of a case study of Filipina au pairs in Denmark. The final section of the report seeks to address the challenges identified in the analysis by setting out a range of recommendations to be considered by policy makers 

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MORE ‘TRAFFICKING’, LESS ‘TRAFFICKED’: Trafficking for exploitation outside the sex sector in Europe

GAATW Working Paper Series 

GAATW has always proactively lobbied for a broad definition of human trafficking and has consequently critiqued a ‘traditional’ near exclusive focus on the sex industry as the primary, if not the only, site of trafficking. The last years have seen, especially in Europe, a growing attention to what is termed as ‘trafficking for labour exploitation’ as something somehow separate or different.  Whilst we welcome the broadening of focus we wonder if creating two separate and distinct categories such as ‘trafficking for labour exploitation’ and ‘trafficking for sexual exploitation’ is helpful. 

With this Working Paper we want to take a closer look at this new scenario and analyse the practical and conceptual implications of the expansion of initiatives to trafficking outside the sex sector, especially for service providers and for those seeking assistance, and try to understand the emerging issues linked to this expansion (especially as they relate to identification and assistance). We discuss the benefits and challenges of the legal avenues, and analyze how existing case law can be used to advance the rights of trafficked persons. A working paper, as the name implies, is a work in progress, rather than a ‘final say’ and we look forward to discussion and dialogues with colleagues on the issues raised in this Paper.



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GAATW Working Paper Series 

GAATW is increasingly concerned with immigration measures that criminalise migrants and badly affect trafficked people. Many of these policies are framed as ‘anti-smuggling’ measures. We chose to look at smuggling partly because the Smuggling Protocol sits in the same UN convention as the Trafficking Protocol and receives much less attention, especially in terms of human rights.

GAATW members also struggle with smuggling in terms of misidentification. When authorities detain migrants, they do not always screen whether they might have been trafficked, but detain them as criminals, as ‘smuggled’, or as ‘irregular’ and then deport them before they have a chance to seek or receive entitled rights. If people labelled as ‘smuggled’ are not getting their rights, it follows that some non-identified trafficked people are not either. We feel that we cannot ignore the anti-smuggling measures that are affecting the people with whom we work.

This paper examines three topics:

    • Human rights that migrants have in smuggling situations,
    • Intersections between smuggling and trafficking, and
    • Language that different stakeholders use to talk about smuggling.


Click the links below to download: 




BEYOND BORDERS: Exploring Trafficking's Links to Gender, Migration, Labour, Globalisation and Security
GAATW Working Paper Series 2010

This series of Working Papers explores links between trafficking and gender: trafficking and labour; and trafficking and migration. The complexities in people's lives cannot be captured by one story or approach alone, whether that approach is anti-trafficking, women's rights, human rights, migrant rights, or labour rights. In other words, a person's life cannot be summarised as being merely that of "trafficked person" or "migrant worker", as often happens.

Each of the Working Papers depicts numerous examples of migrant women exercising agency.

Spanish version:


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Strategic Thematic Direction

During 2011-13, through our Power in Migration and Work thematic programme, we engaged more directly with the migrant rights and labour rights movements. During 2014-2016 our work will build on the work of previous years; we will continue to push for a human rights based approach in anti-trafficking policies and practices.  We will also deepen our engagement with the issue of migration and labour.

The three thematic strategic issues outlined below are continuations of our work during 2011-13.

ACCOUNTABILITY Increasing the accountability of all anti-trafficking stakeholders involved in the design or implementation of anti-trafficking responses, towards the persons whose human rights they purport to protect.

ACCESS TO JUSTICE Broadening spaces for trafficked persons and migrant workers to practice their human rights by improving access to justice and combating all forms of discrimination that impact women’s ability to exercise their human rights as they relate to trafficking.

POWER IN MIGRATION AND WORK Centring an analysis of women’s power in their labour and migration to better assess migration and labour policies’ impact on women, and to work towards labour and migration processes that reflect migrants’ needs, aspirations and capabilities.