GAATW Logo

Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women

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

GAATW Logo

Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women

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

Events and News

15 years down the road

Today, there are many more organizations working on trafficking than before and a significant increase in funding for anti-trafficking work. Research has been conducted and reports written on the situation of trafficking virtually in all parts of the world. In 2000, an internationally recognised definition of human trafficking was created, and today many countries are working towards national legislations in accordance with the Palermo Protocol.

Even with such progress, we are still a long way from achieving human rights protection for trafficked persons. Year after year, every report on the situation of trafficking claims that the problem is getting worse. Anyone working on the ground knows that it is incredibly difficult to identify a trafficked person, so how do we actually know or monitor the problem? Reliable statistics on trafficking are scarce, due to the underground nature of the crime.

Migrants continue to take dangerous risks because of a lack of legal and safe channels to find work in another country or a lack of adequate information about the situation in the destination country. This means the risk for trafficking continues. However, many migrant workers whose experience has some elements of trafficking are reluctant to be labelled as a "victim of trafficking" for that would mean immediate or eventual deportation.

Many colleagues are of the opinion that unless a sustained advocacy for the rights of all migrants is launched, human trafficking will continue to increase. Another concern raised by human rights activists is the violation of the rights of migrants, trafficked persons or sex workers caused by zealous anti-trafficking efforts.

It is time we take stock of our work, consolidate the gains and find new strategies to address persistent problems.

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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.