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...

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Accountability - Projects in 2017

Critical assessment of the implementation of Anti-Trafficking legislation in Bolivia, Colombia and Guatemala, part II


Duration: January - June 2017

Location: Bolivia, Colombia and Guatemala

Beneficiaries: Trafficked persons, NGOs service providers, government agencies 

What is this project about?

GAATW and its members have questioned whether anti-trafficking initiatives are truly able to protect and promote the rights of victims: the report ‘Collateral Damage’ demonstrates the systematic failure of anti-trafficking measures to protect the human rights of trafficked persons. At the same time, the report ‘Feeling Good about Feeling Bad’ stresses the need to monitor and evaluate initiatives against trafficking and include the participation of key stakeholders, so that there is mutual accountability. In this respect, it is crucial to correctly assess the anti-trafficking initiatives implemented by governmental institutions.

To this end, in 2016 an assessment was carried out in Bolivia, Colombia and Guatemala on the specific responsibilities of public institutions to assist and protect victims and prosecute traffickers, which allows for the identification of the main successes and gaps in the implementation of anti-trafficking legislation in the three countries.The assessment was conducted by Fundación La Paz in Bolivia, Corporación Espacios de Mujer in Colombia and ECPAT in Guatemala, with the support of the International Secretariat of GAATW and Capital humano y social - Alternativo, a Peruvian NGO with experience in this kind of assessments since 2009 (see a brief overview of the project here). 

It is necessary to carry out and publish this kind of assessment identifying the work done from the governmental bodies and documenting the existing situation. An annual report will allow to identify the steps back and forward in the implementation of the law and plan an advocacy and monitoring strategy in accordance with to the documented situation. 

What are we going to do? 

Through the three local organisations in Bolivia, Colombia and Guatemala, GAATW will carry out an assessment of anti-trafficking legislation to identify the existing gaps between what the legislation states and the actual services provided.

The information gathered during the assessment will be analysed in order to better understand the reasons for this gap and to be able to provide clear recommendations to the government for reducing it. To analyse the information, findings and recommendation from the 2016 reports will be used in order to compare the situation and identify the progress or lack thereof in the implementation of anti-trafficking legislation. 

The findings and recommendations from this project will be shared with the three governments and other anti-trafficking stakeholders with the aim of upholding the rights of trafficked persons through efficient delivery of services and assistance programmes. 

Project partners: CHS-Peru, Espacios de Mujeres - Colombia, Fundacion La Paz, Bolivia and ECPAT Guatemala.

Funding Support: Oak Foundation and Bread for the World

Find out more: Video Rights on Paper and Rights in Practice


Realising Rights

SELF-ORGANISED GROUPS IN THE ALLIANCE: Affirming the role of very small organisations and directly affected groups – including trafficking survivors, migrant women, sex workers, rural women, women workers, and returnee migrant women – in anti-trafficking efforts.

GAATW has always highlighted the pivotal role of women directly affected by trafficking and/or anti-trafficking measures in anti-trafficking efforts. The self-organised groups (or groups comprising women with direct experience of the issue they are working on, e.g. domestic worker-led groups) in our membership have articulated: how anti-trafficking measures have impacted their lives; how they envision human rights based anti-trafficking practices; how processes of personal recovery and activism intersect; how policies intersect with women's aspirations and their realities; the difficulties in accessing support if they operate outside of mainstream NGO frameworks; and an analysis that stems from lived experience of various issues.

Self-organised groups' issues and priorities will be woven into the 3 programmatic directions above and integrated across all GAATW programmes. However, we will also continue to maintain spaces for collaboration with self-organised groups that may fall outside of the 3 directions above.

SOG Members List (Click on the names of the organisations below to read more about their work and contact information)

• Action for Reach Out (AFRO)

• Asociacion Civil de DDHH Mujeres Unidas Migrantes Y Refugiadas en Argentina (AMUMRA)

• Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers in Hong Kong (ATKI-HK)

• Cambodia Prostitutes' Union (CPU)



• Sindicato de Trabajadoras Domesticas(SINTRASEDOM)

• Movimiento de Mujeres Unidas (MODEMU)

• National Domestic Workers Movement (NDWM)

• Sanayar-thi Pan

• Self-Empowerment Program for Migrant Women (SEPOM)

• Shakti Samuha

• Sex Workers' Network of Bangladesh (SWNOB)

• Genera

Relevant Publications

• Respect & Relevance, GAATW Report 2007

• Speak Out, Take Action (Sex Worker's organisations in Bangladesh, Cambodia & India raise their voices against police brutality, GAATW 2004)

• "Partners in Change" Conference (2002) – stories of women's collectives & report

• Advocacy video project on Overcharging - IMW's say NO to Overcharging


All of the above roles depend on a diverse range of communication with our networks. The primary goal of GAATW’s communications work is to promote global representation and equal access to relevant information and knowledge that is essential in strengthening the Alliance. As the International Secretariat of a diverse network, GAATW engages across many communication styles, cultures and media to share and exchange information between Member Organisations.

GAATW’s communication services will continue to reflect the needs of the Alliance, in order to provide clear and timely responses in the anti-trafficking discourse. GAATW-IS aims to provide effective communication services through publications, online resources, and multi-media projects to carry forward the voices and knowledge of members, partners and affected groups at local, regional, and international levels. 



As the Secretariat of a global alliance, communication is at the core of all our work. We regularly share relevant information with our members and encourage member-to-member communications. Most of our projects are documented in high-quality publications. While some colleagues take responsibility for the technical aspect of publications, such as layout and designing and distributions, colleagues with thematic responsibilities prepare the content. All content goes through an internal and sometimes an external review.

Our e-Bulletin contains information about our and our members work, as well as interviews, analyses and commentaries and a list of resources. The bulletin is sent to a mailing list of over 1000 individuals from our member organisations, partners, allies, international organisations and academia. Anyone who wishes can subscribe here. We also publish a Spanish-language e-bulletin for our members and allies in Latin America. 

Since 2012, we have been publishing a peer-reviewed academic journal called the Anti-Trafficking Review. The journal promotes a human rights based approach to anti-trafficking. A peer-reviewed, open access publication with a readership in over 100 countries, the Review offers an outlet and space for dialogue between academics, practitioners, trafficked persons and advocates seeking to communicate new ideas and findings to those working for and with trafficked persons. The journal is abstracted/indexed in: Cross Ref, Ulrich’s, Ebsco Host, Directory of Open Access Journals, Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, World Cat, eGranary,, ProQuest, CNKI and ScienceOpen. After bringing out one issue per year for three years, since 2015 we produce two issues per year. In 2017, the eighth issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review explored the role of evidence, research and data in anti-trafficking work. The ninth issue, which will be published in September, will explore the lessons that history might hold for today's anti-trafficking work.

We also post regularly on our Facebook page and Twitter


The GAATW International Secretariat (GAATW-IS) will continue to use research, participatory learning, advocacy and communication tools to realise the vision and mission of the Alliance.

GAATW’s research plays a substantial role in shaping and shifting global anti-trafficking discourses. Much of GAATW’s research has been action-oriented, feeding local or international change processes and done in collaboration with Members and allies.

Members’ involvement in research projects will maximise the knowledge and experience within the Alliance and ensure that research activities are relevant. In general, our research prioritises documenting women’s experiences and agency in order to advance global anti-trafficking discourses, strengthens our advocacy messages, creates a sound evidence base with the objective of promoting and protecting the human rights of trafficked persons, and expands knowledge in under-researched areas.

Overall, we seek to destabilise the dominant perception of women as victims in isolated, crime-centred responses to trafficking. Instead, we strive to present a complex picture of empowerment through migration, work, and human rights based approaches.


This year we are conducting a research project to document if and how sex workers organising helps to prevent and address abuses in the sex industry, including trafficking. The research covers seven countries across the world (Canada, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, India, Thailand and New Zealand with at least one sex workers rights organisation in each country. We hope that ultimately, state authorities and NGOs will recognise sex workers organisations as legitimate anti-trafficking stakeholders and provide them with support, including financial, for anti-trafficking work. 

What we do

GAATW works in a three-year programme cycle. Developing the Alliance’s strategic direction for the following three years is done in consultation with Member Organisations, and other individuals, networks, and organisations that work in partnership with GAATW. This consultation happens primarily at the triennial International Members Congress and Conference (IMCC). Strategic discussions also happen at regional or thematic consultations held during the multi-year programme.

In the past two planning cycles (2005-2007 and 2008-2010), GAATW adopted a two-pronged, approach involving (1) critical engagement with the anti-trafficking framework and (2) linking trafficking with gender, migration, and labour frameworks. This approach was not new for GAATW, which since its inception, had understood trafficking experiences as gendered and occurring in a broader context of migration and work and thought it critical to engage with the anti-trafficking framework. However, by separating gender, labour and migration and analysing their intersections with trafficking we were able to better engage with related movements and understand lines of overlap and tension.




In 2015 GAATW-IS receives its main financial support from the Global Fund for Women, Women's World Day of Prayer, Dan Church Aid, ILO Department for International Development, Bread of the World, the Swiss Development Agency Cooperation and Caritas France

We are extremely grateful to our donors for their invaluable support. If members of the public or other interested parties would like to support our work, please contact the GAATW-IS at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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.