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

Stop, Look, Listen



As of October 2008, discussion on a review of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) and its Protocols (including the Human Trafficking Protocol) are underway. A working group of States has been established to discuss this issue and make recommendations to states who have signed this Convention, with a final decision to be determined in October 2010.

A review mechanism could offer a unique and important opportunity for NGOs to raise the impact of States anti-trafficking measures on trafficked persons at an international level, as well as opportunity to call for better protection of human rights.

As such, GAATW has launched an Urgent Action to advocate States to support the establishment of an inclusive and transparent review mechanism.

Support our action by signing on to the petition: Stop, Look, Listen

For more information, please see our Urgent Action information kit:

GAATW position - calling for a review mechanism

Factsheet 1 - What is the Trafficking Protocol?

Factsheet 2 - What is a review mechanism?

Urgent Action - notes on advocating for a review mechanism

Petition (a copy that can be handed out in your community and sent back to GAATW)

Para más información, por favor consulte nuestro kit de información sobre Acciones Urgentes:

Posicion de la GAATW sobre un Mecanismo de Revision

Hoja Informativa I - Qu_es el protocolo contra la Trata de Personas

Hoja Informativa II - Qué es el protocolo contra la Trata de Personas

Carta solicitud de reunion sobre Mechanismo Revision


11 Recommendations

The ‘Collateral Damage’ caused by anti-trafficking measures is not inevitable. They can be addressed with targeted policy changes:

1. Use an evidence-based approach when adopting anti-trafficking measures and ensure that measures taken are appropriate and proportionate to the patterns of abuse that are occurring.

2. Put greater focus on ending forced labour and slavery-like practices, rather than focusing primarily on the recruitment of individuals into such forms of abuse.

3. Prioritise evidence collected from trafficked persons and other migrants who have experienced abuse when designing policies. Make such people, who know the realities experienced by those migrating, partners in the search for solutions.

4. End the practice of making assistance to trafficked persons conditional on their agreeing to cooperate with law enforcement officials.

5. Monitor how rights to stay in a country are being implemented by law enforcement and immigration authorities. Take remedial action when trafficked persons are systematically not being identified or are classified so that they can be deported. Ensure that all victims of abuse have access to assistance.

6. End the practice of detaining trafficked persons, whether by law enforcement officials, non-government actors or social welfare authorities.

7. Systematically inform trafficked persons of their legal rights, including to legal representation, to compensation and to apply for asylum. Governments should remove any obstacles to these applications being made.

8. Prior to repatriating trafficked persons, ensure that risk and security assessments are carried out for each individual and hold governments accountable for this.

9. Inform trafficked persons in destination countries about their options for assistance in their home country and coordinate assistance between countries where possible.

10. National Human Rights Institutions and other bodies charged with monitoring human rights should be collecting information about the impact of anti-trafficking measures and recommend ways for reducing harmful effects.

11. Allow migrant workers to enjoy their rights to freedom of association and to join and form trade unions. Ensure that migrant workers can complain of exploitation without fear of reprisals. Labour rights defenders should play more role in identifying forced labour cases and helping the victims to seek redress.

2008 Activities

Campaign Launch
UN.GIFT Vienna Forum
13-15 February 2008

Collateral Damage & Campaign presentation
Freedom Network 2008 Conference
23-24 April 2008
Georgia, USA

Collateral Damage recommendations linked to GAATW advocacy action
UN General Assembly thematic debate on human trafficking
3 June 2008
New York, USA

Collateral Damage & Campaign presentation
"First" Latin American Congress on trafficking
4-5 June 2008
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Side event (tentative)
UNODC Conference of State Parties
6-17 October 2008
Vienna, Austria

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.