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

E-Bulletin January 2016 - News from our Member Organisations

The Hidden Harms of Anti-Trafficking

The hidden harms of ATOn 15 October, SWAN Vancouver held a forum, entitled ‘The Hidden Harms of Anti-Trafficking’, which brought together representatives of law enforcement, funders, advocates, social assistance providers and members of the general public. Dr Hayli Millar and Dr Tamara O’Doherty from the University of the Fraser Valley presented some of the main concerns raised by criminal justice system professionals in the report ‘The Palermo Protocol and Canada: The Evolution and Human Rights Impacts of Canadian Anti-trafficking Laws’. Mary W of Butterfly, a Toronto-based organisation that works with Asian and migrant sex workers, challenged the audience to re-think their ideas about sex work in her presentation ‘Oh Pretty Sexy! Critical Thinking About Consensual Sex Work’, while Elene Lam, also from Butterfly, presented ‘Anti-Trafficking: New Form of Sexism, Racism and Imperialism’. Dr Sarah Hunt from the University of British Columbia and GAATW Canada, focused in her presentation on the contradictions and tensions between anti-trafficking frameworks and decolonisation. Dr Julie Ham from the University of Hong Kong, discussed Vancouver sex workers’ perspectives on citizenship, residency and belonging in her presentation, ‘Sex Work and the Non-Migrant “Migrant”’. Kim Mackenzie of SWAN concluded the forum with her presentation on SWAN’s recently launched toolkit, ‘Myths, Misconceptions and Migrant Sex Workers: Realities of the Anti-Trafficked’.


Engaging the private sector to end human trafficking

Engaging the private sectorOn the occasion of the European day against trafficking in human beings, La Strada International and SOMO published a resource guide for NGOs, entitled ‘Engaging the Private Sector to End Human Trafficking’.

The role of businesses in human trafficking can range from being directly responsible for labour exploitation through coercive recruitment practices to being an important partner in prevention. The guide aims to provide NGOs with knowledge and tools to engage the private sector in their work by providing a wide selection of background materials, ranging from facts and figures to strategic advice.

Although the private sector is increasingly seen as an important stakeholder in anti-trafficking work, European NGOs working in the field have not yet started to fully engage corporations in their strategies and practices.

The Resource Guide aims to close this gap by providing guidance and background information for NGOs. Different vulnerable sectors and the role that corporations could potentially play in contributing to and preventing human trafficking are described. Steps are outlined that businesses can take to avoid contributing to human trafficking, based on existing guidelines and toolkits. The Guide explains UN, ILO and EU business and human rights frameworks and highlights their relevance to anti-trafficking work. Examples of private sector engagement from other NGO networks are given, ranging from campaigns for corporate justice and lodging complaints, to NGO-business partnering and multi-stakeholder initiatives. The last chapter provides information on which strategies NGOs can pursue to engage the private sector to tackle human trafficking and to hold corporations accountable.

Download the Resource Guide and Annex ‘Tools and Resources’.


Feminist Alliances in Sex Work

Feminist alliancesOn 16 and 17 December GAATW-IS attended a conference entitled ‘Feminist Alliances in Sex Work’, organised by our Spanish member Genera in Barcelona, Spain. The aim of the conference was to bring together sex workers, activists, anti-trafficking experts, students and academics and discuss the role of the sex workers rights movement within feminism and how alliances can be built with other movement for rights.

The conference focused around three main topics: ‘Abolitionism and neoliberal regulation: or how to build a non-capitalist model of sex work regulation’, ‘Feminist alliances in sex work, the role of feminist movements in the empowerment and self-organization’ and ‘Trafficking, looking for a self-discourse from the sex worker’s rights movement’. During the panels and workshops, participants spoke about stigma, their experience with the criminalisation of sex work in different countries and violence experienced by the police, and the frustration with the abolitionist discourse, equating all sex work with violence against women and trafficking. Participants stressed that the sex workers rights movement part of the feminist movement and that sex workers’ struggle against stigma, violence and discrimination is common for all women, however, they have often felt excluded from the ‘mainstream’ feminist movement. The sex workers rights movement is also a movement against poverty, oppression and racism and for sexual and reproductive rights, as well as labour rights. In this sense, the sex workers rights movement is a natural ally of organisations working for the rights of women, migrants, workers, LGBT people and victims of trafficking. Regarding human trafficking, it was pointed out that sex workers have the most interest in a ‘clean’ sex industry, without violence and trafficking, and that they should be consulted on the development and implementation of anti-trafficking measures. The conference ended with a small demonstration on the occasion of the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers.

Photos, videos and presentations from the conference can be found on the conference website.


ECPAT Guatemala successfully lobbies to raise the legal marriage age to 18

In November Guatemala’s congress voted to raise the minimum legal age for marriage to 18. It had been 14 for girls and 16 for boys, though girls often married or entered legal unions much younger. This deeply rooted traditional practice often resulted in violations of children’s rights and reduced their access to education and opportunities in life.

ECPAT-Guatemala attended meetings of the Bureau of Security and Justice and made contributions to the drafting of the law, based on the provisions of the Law on Protection of Children and Adolescents and the results of the study on trafficking in persons for the purposes of sexual exploitation, labour exploitation and forced marriage. ECPAT-Guatemala team also made a brief investigation into the regulation of marriage of minors in other countries of Latin America and their respective exceptions when the legal age for marriage is 18 years. The result of this research was presented to the Bureau for Girls.

The Civil Code was reformed in November, prohibiting the marriage of persons under 18, but exceptionally, and on reasonable grounds, a judge may authorise the marriage of girls who have turned 16.

María Eugenia from ECPAT Guatemala welcomed this legislative change: “The amendment to the Civil Code is a very important step to enforce the human rights of Guatemalan children and adolescents. The increase of the marriage age will reduce the percentage of pregnancies among girls and adolescents and maternal deaths and newborn mortality in the country. It will also contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty and improve girls’ access to education, health and a productive life.”


Comprehensive analysis of Hong Kong legislation relating to human trafficking, corruption and money laundering and Data Protection Guidelines to better protect data of victims of human trafficking

In 2015, Liberty Asia released two new publications, in collaboration with Reed Smith Richards Butler.

The Hong Kong Legal Gap Analysis provides a clear and factual insight into Hong Kong’s existing legal framework. Hong Kong has not ratified the Palermo Protocol and the existing definition of human trafficking focuses only on cross-border trafficking for exploitation in prostitution. This excludes trafficking for labour exploitation, debt bondage, domestic servitude, slavery or practices similar to slavery or for the removal of organs, while forced labour is not even a criminal offence in Hong Kong. There is also no National Action Plan or a National Referral Mechanism, which would strengthen Hong Kong’s efforts in the areas of identification, prevention, prosecution and protection of the victims.

The gap analysis identifies key areas to strengthen the framework and offers insight into the interaction of the anti-corruption and anti-money laundering legal regime with human trafficking, forced labour and slavery offences.

You can download the full report or the overview.

The Data Protection Guidelines seek to clarify the legal protections available for victims of trafficking and to assist NGOs with protecting sensitive data to better serve their clients, and, ultimately strengthen the fight against slavery. Given the great quest for better data and the interest of numerous stakeholders in data collection, it is likely that essential data protection measures will unintentionally be overlooked. Somewhere along the lines the data becomes a statistic, a name and a number that is shared and disseminated, divorced from the vulnerable individual who owns the data. Misused sensitive information can lead to the identification of a very vulnerable individual who may be at risk of reprisals from a perpetrator. It is increasingly important that survivor data is treated and protected in accordance with the protections afforded by the law to ensure the proper checks and balances as prescribed by the law are used to protect vulnerable individuals.


‘From Peace at Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All’
16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

Worec 16 daysLike in previous years, Women’s Rehabilitation Center (WOREC) celebrated 16 Days of Activism for violence against women by organising various events.

The first day, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, was observed by coordinating and participating in a rally organised by the Ministry for Women, Children and Social Welfare and National Women’s Commission (NWC). The rally started from Bhrikuti Mandap and ended in Basantapur, where an assembly was organised. There was participation of different government and non-government organisations working to prevent violence against women in the country. There were banners and placards carried to relay the message.

The same day, WOREC launched Anbeshi during a ceremony at NWC. Anbeshi is a yearbook containing cases of violence against women from all over Nepal that WOREC has been publishing for the past eight years. In this year’s Anbeshi, WOREC recorded 1930 cases of violence against women directly and 598 cases have been collected through various national newspapers. Among these almost 70% were related to domestic violence, 14% to social violence, 5% to rape and sexual violence, 4% to trafficking and attempt to trafficking and 1% murder.

On the following days, WOREC held orientation programmes entitled ‘Widening Knowledge: Sharing dimension and Status of Violence against Women through Anbeshi’ in different colleges. The team of WOREC visited colleges in Kathmandu and Lalitpur to share, inform and sensitise both students and teachers about the dimension, status, correlation and magnitude of Violence against Women (VAW) and its adverse effects on women through the findings of ‘Anbeshi’.

The programme was exclusively designed to focus on students and teachers to ensure women and girls’ right to education in a safe environment. When youngsters are involved in a campaign and informed about their rights, the deeper social transformation is more likely to happen sooner. WOREC believes in youth as a change maker against violence against women by addressing behavioural and structural issues that stimulate VAW.

On 30 November there was an interaction programme organised on the topic ‘Revisiting SAARC Convention against Trafficking to Strengthen its Comprehensiveness and Effectiveness’. The programme was organised to reflect the existing realities of trafficking in South Asia and the current relevance of SAARC Trafficking Convention and develop appropriate text and plan of action along with the government of Nepal to propose for its revision.

Representatives from government organisations, constitutional bodies, international non-government organisations, trade unions and media took part in the programme. The SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution was signed in 2002 and was considered to be a landmark in eradicating trafficking in the region. However, the Convention does not comply with internationally agreed definitions of trafficking and is limited to trafficking for commercial sex work only. It also completely excludes trafficking of men. Over the years, the trend of trafficking has changed significantly from trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation to trafficking for forced labour, organ trading and servitude, among others. The Convention restricts women’s right to free movement and criminalises voluntary sex work, and addresses the problem of trafficking from a moralistic and protectionist perspective. The programme came out with an action plan and formed a working group to develop recommendations for the government of Nepal.

On 3 December WOREC organised an Oratory Contest, where students from different colleges expressed their opinion about women’s rights and violence against women.

On 4 and 5 December there was an interaction programme with the earthquake survivors and the staff working in the Sneha Campaign. The Sneha Campaign was initiated by WOREC post-earthquake to support the survivors, especially pregnant and lactating women, women with disabilities, adolescent girls and elderly women. Since then many activities, including psychosocial counselling, orientations, trainings and health camps have been conducted in 12 earthquake affected districts of Nepal. On the occasion of the 16 Days of Activism, there was experience sharing of the staffs working for the relief activities regarding their challenges, leanings and achievements. There were also discussions regarding the participation and access of women in the reconstruction and rehabilitation plan of the government.

On the final day of 16 Days of Activism, WOREC participated in a rally organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).


Member Organisations

Asia and Europe
Ban-Ying, Germany
FairWork, The Netherlands
FIZ, Switzerland
Foundation for Women, Thailand
LEFÖ-IBF, Austria
LRCKJHAM, Indonesia
Shakti Samuha, Nepal
Solidaritas Perempuan, Indonesia
Open Gate-La Strada,
WOREC, Nepal

The Americas
AMUMRA, Argentina
Brigada Callejera, Mexico
CHS Alternativo, Peru
Corporación Espacio de Mujer, Colombia
Fundación Esperanza, Colombia
Fundación Esperanza, Ecuador
Fundación Renacer

GAATW-IS Comment: Amnesty International calls for the decriminalisation of sex work

GAATW-IS congratulates Amnesty International (AI) for adopting a decision to develop a policy in support of the decriminalisation of sex work at its International Council Meeting in Dublin, Ireland, in August.

In doing so, Amnesty joins a growing list of international organisations, such as Human Rights Watch, the World Health Organisation, UNAIDS, UNDP, and The Lancet medical journal, who all recognise that decriminalising sex work is the best policy to protect the human rights of sex workers and improve their access to legal and health services. The decision comes after two years of consultations with AI’s national chapters and with sex workers rights organisations, feminist and other women’s rights organisations and activists, LGBTI groups, anti-trafficking agencies and HIV/AIDS organisations. Amnesty also conducted research on the sex industry and the rights of sex workers in four countries. 

Since its inception more than two decades ago, GAATW has recognised the distinction between sex work and trafficking and advocated that policy makers and activists do not conflate the two. We have worked in solidarity with the sex workers rights movements in various parts of the world and indeed, the Alliance has some sex workers rights organisations within its membership. GAATW has always maintained that rights of sex workers and rights of trafficked persons can and should go hand in hand and that ‘only rights can stop the wrongs’ that sex workers routinely experience from both state and non-state actors. Regardless of their organisational position (or lack of it) on the issue of sex work, all GAATW members respect the rights of sex workers to organise and advocate for the realisation of their rights. All GAATW members also recognise sex workers rights groups as allies in the movements against human trafficking.

Our members and colleagues in the sex workers rights movements strongly believe that decriminalisation offers sex workers the possibilities to work together for safety, to screen and refuse clients, to access health and social services, and to turn to the police and the courts should they fall victim to crimes. Often, sex workers are best positioned to detect and report cases of human trafficking or exploitative labour situations. In a decriminalised environment, clients of sex workers can and do report suspicions of abuse without fear of prosecution.

On the other hand, criminalisation of the sex industry or aspects of it, such as clients and third parties, increases the stigmatisation and marginalisation of sex workers and reduces their opportunities to claim their rights. Although there is no conclusive evidence that criminalisation reduces human trafficking and exploitation, this is often taken as a policy measure to address human trafficking. GAATW has documented extensively the harmful impacts of anti-trafficking initiatives on the rights of (migrant) sex workers around the world and the limitations of simplistic ‘end demand’ approaches to human trafficking.

What, if any, are the implications of the AI policy for sex workers? Kay Thi Win, Coordinator of Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers, puts it clearly in her piece in the Guardian:Nothing will change immediately – this new policy is not a UN convention that states must implement.... Our global movement is stronger than ever, and with this debate and decision we are more visible than ever. Perhaps in the future it will become unacceptable for the media to write an article or host a panel discussion about sex work without including sex worker voices advocating for human rights? (Perhaps, too, it will become unacceptable to publish the words of celebrities who know nothing of the reality of our experiences but feel qualified to preach on our behalf?)”

Are there any implications of the AI policy for the human rights community in general and for the anti-trafficking groups in particular? As we all know, the AI policy is internal and will primarily help the members and staff of the organisation to carry out their human rights advocacy with greater clarity. However, as the polarised discussions in the run up to this policy decision clearly showed, the issue of sex work continues to divide the human rights community, especially the feminist activists. So the disagreements will continue and this policy decision may win and lose allies for AI.

Debates, dialogues and disagreements are hallmarks of every society and they are most welcome on the issue of sex work too. But what we have often missed in the past and would like to see in the future are respectful dialogues and debates around the issue of sex work informed by the lived experience of sex workers. We would also like to see inclusion of sex workers rights groups in any future policy discussion on sex work and human trafficking. At this stage it is important for all colleagues doing anti-trafficking work, especially those who are just starting their work, to have some conceptual clarity regarding various legal frameworks around sex work and human trafficking and their human rights impacts on the lives of sex workers. There is a body of credible research on sex work and trafficking available now which clearly explains the issues. We have listed some of those in the resource section of our e-Bulletin.

It may not be possible or even necessary for all anti-trafficking activists to develop a position on sex work. But it is important that we understand the difference between human trafficking and sex work. It is also crucial that  all of us practice a ‘Do no Harm’ policy and respect the rights of every human being, including sex workers, to represent themselves and advocate for the realisation of their rights.


Entrevista con Betty Pedraza Lozano, Espacios de Mujer

Betty Pedraza Lozano, directora de la corporación Espacios de Mujer, ha sido una de las ocho galardonadas con el premio anual “Héroe en la Lucha contra la Trata de Personas”, otorgado por el Departamento de Estado de los Estados Unidos el pasado 27 de julio. El premio reconoce el trabajo que llevan a cabo  diferentes personas, en distintos lugares del mundo para poner fin a la trata de personas. Betty Pedraza Lozano ha sido reconocida por su compromiso en la prevención de la trata, el acompañamiento a las personas objeto de trata en Colombia y su trabajo en pro de los derechos de todas las mujeres y hombres que han sufrido y han sobrevivido la trata de personas.

Chus Álvarez: Betty, es usted la primera colombiana galardonada con este premio, ¿cómo se siente?

Betty Pedraza: ¡Imagínese, la primera vez que postulan a una mujer desde Colombia y ganamos! Recuerdo el momento en el que me llamaron de la embajada para comunicarme que había ganado el premio, de una vez les dije que debía de ser un error, que yo no me había presentado a ningún premio. ¡No me lo podía creer!, posteriormente he sabido que fue la embajada americana en Bogotá quién presentó mi candidatura y me alegra mucho haber sido merecedora del premio.  

C.A.: ¿Qué supone este premio para Espacios de Mujer?

B.P.: Es el reconocimiento a todas las personas y organizaciones que nos han apoyado durante todos estos años. Es la esperanza de que, a través de este premio, podamos hacer alianzas interinstitucionales entre ONG, gobiernos y empresas privadas, para disponer así de los recursos humanos y económicos adecuados para enfrentar la lucha contra la trata de personas.

C.A.: ¿Cómo y por qué se fundó Espacios de Mujer?

B.P.: Espacios de Mujer nació en el 2004 tras una experiencia de cooperación internacional con la asociación italiana PRO.DO.CS. El proyecto estuvo enfocado en el auto-reconocimiento y empoderamiento de las mujeres en el ejercicio de la prostitución en la ciudad de Medellín. Terminado este proyecto decidimos continuar “ocupándonos y pre-ocupándonos” de esta población, sumamente marginalizada. Desde el principio nos propusimos contribuir a mejorar el nivel de vida de las mujeres que ejercen la prostitución en Medellín y Antioquia, apoyamos a estas mujeres en la adquisición de herramientas que les permitan ejercer sus derechos y deberes, como mujeres y como grupo específico, y ejercer su oficio de forma digna y segura.

C.A.: ¿Qué las caracteriza o las diferencia de otras entidades o asociaciones que trabajan contra la trata de mujeres?

B.P.: Yo diría que nos caracteriza la mirada de género desde la que analizamos la realidad en general y las dinámicas propias del contexto de la prostitución y la trata en particular. A través de nuestro trabajo diario nos hemos dado cuenta de que aún hace falta mucha formación y capacitación en las entidades para identificar qué es la trata y cómo se puede prevenir. Por ello hemos elaborado el kit “Maleta de viaje”,  un material del que estamos muy orgullosas y que incluso tuve la ocasión de compartir y entregar a los responsables del tema de Trata de personas del departamento de estado de Estados Unidos.

Esta mirada de género nos permite evidenciar que las víctimas son especialmente mujeres (en un porcentaje que va del 80% al 95%), sometidas en su mayoría a explotación sexual; se reportan además diversos tipos de explotación como trabajo doméstico, matrimonio servil, y otras formas de esclavitud. Desde este enfoque, no se puede obviar que la mayor vulnerabilidad de la población femenina y la ancestral permisividad del uso del cuerpo femenino como una mercancía, proceden de relaciones de poder asimétricas y de ideologías de tradición machista y patriarcal.

C.A.: ¿Cuál ha sido su inspiración en la lucha por los derechos de las personas objeto de trata?

B.P.: Miles de niños y niñas colombianas, hombres y mujeres sufren en silencio, ya sea porque son explotadas sexualmente, sometidas a trabajos forzados, presionadas a ejercer labores degradantes o a permanecer en condiciones serviles u obligadas a labores semejantes a las de la época de la esclavitud.

Según la Corporación Espacios de Mujer, alrededor de setenta mil personas son víctimas de la trata de personas cada año en Colombia. El Valle del Cauca, Risaralda (parte de la zona cafetera) y Antioquia son los tres departamentos clave de origen de las víctimas, así como de destino de trata interna. Estas tres zonas tienen en común el hecho de haber sido impactadas durante décadas por el narcotráfico y la presencia de grupos armados al margen de la ley desde finales de los años ochenta. – Aquí, la explotación sexual, el trabajo forzado y la esclavitud son las modalidades de trata más comunes –, añade Betty Pedraza Lozano.

En Colombia, la modalidad de trata interna juega un rol muy importante y este país se clasifica entre los primeros de la región en tener un alto número de víctimas. Betty especifica que en sus diez años de actividad, Espacios de Mujer ha atendido en Colombia a ciento una personas víctimas de la trata: cuarenta y dos procedentes de otros países y cincuenta y nueve víctimas de trrata interna.  De éstas, noventa y siete han sido mujeres y sólo cuatro fueron hombres. En cuanto a las modalidades de explotación han sido varias, desde la explotación sexual al trabajo forzado, del matrimonio servil al servicio doméstico.

C.A.: ¿Cuál cree que es el principal error en la lucha contra la trata de personas?

B.P.: Señalaría dos errores principalmente. Por una parte la desarticulación existente entre las entidades competentes para la lucha de la trata y la protección de las víctimas y sobrevivientes y por otra parte, la falta de compromiso del Estado en brindar protección a las víctimas y realizar un seguimiento y acompañamiento durante los procesos judiciales.

Para la eliminación de la trata de personas, es necesario no sólo el trabajo de prevención, atención y protección en los países de origen, sino el compromiso y la voluntad política para la criminalización en los países de destino, así como la solidaridad y apoyo para la restitución de derechos a las mujeres víctimas del mismo.

C.A.: Y en cuanto a avances, ¿cuál destacaría como principal?

B.P.: En Colombia, en el 2013 participamos en la creación de la “Alianza Colombiana de Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil Contra la Trata de Personas” conformada actualmente por veinticuatro organizaciones de la sociedad civil. ¡Incluso conseguimos la financiación para celebrar el primer encuentro! Durante el año 2014, comenzamos a presentar recomendaciones para la implementación de la política pública, principalmente en los ejes de atención y prevención.

C.A.: ¿Cuáles son las principales recomendaciones que esta Alianza colombiana ha hecho a la política pública en materia anti-trata?

B.P.: Entre las recomendaciones que ha hecho destacaría las de abordar con compromiso y eficiencia la trata de personas (TdP) en todas sus modalidades, dar atención diferencial a las víctimas, establecer con claridad una base de datos concerniente a casos de TdP y contar con multiplicadores pedagógicos, por ejemplo policías y docentes.

C.A.: Recientemente han formado parte de un estudio internacional con personas que han sobrevivido a la trata realizado por la “Alianza Global Contra la Trata de Mujeres” (GAATW por sus siglas en inglés). El principal objetivo del estudio era  conocer la opinión de personas que han sobrevivido a la trata, respecto a la atención que reciben por parte de las instituciones, tanto públicas como privadas, y respecto a los servicios que se ponen a su disposición para superar la situación de trata.  ¿Qué destacaría del estudio?

B.P.: Que por primera vez las víctimas y las sobrevivientes fueron escuchadas y pudieron expresar su opinión sobre la atención brindada y sobre cómo se sintieron en los procesos de restitución de derechos.

C.A.: ¿Qué es lo que mejor y lo que peor han valorado las mujeres entrevistadas?

B.P.: Lo mejor, que su voz fuera escuchada y el acompañamiento en los procesos psicosociales. Lo peor, la indiferencia del estado frente a su situación y la falta de protección a sus situaciones de víctimas.

C.A.: ¿Qué le gustaría que todo el mundo supiera respecto a la trata de personas?

B.P.: Me gustaría que se supiera que la trata de personas sucede en la vida cotidiana y que es en esta vida cotidiana donde se hace posible la prevención. Es necesario informar, sensibilizar y capacitar, especialmente a las poblaciones en condiciones de vulnerabilidad y  al funcionariado público, clarificando algunos conceptos y aclarando de qué estamos hablando cuando hablamos de trata de personas.

C.A.: Para terminar, nos gustaría que pudiera compartir las palabras más inspiradoras que ha presenciado  en su trabajo diario de atención directa.

B.P.: Las mujeres con las que trabajamos siempre nos manifiestan su gratitud y el empoderamiento que experimentan durante el proceso de acompañamiento: “Una llega a Espacios de Mujer caída, desbaratada y sale de aquí con la cabeza bien alta porque tenemos los mismos derechos que todo el mundo. Gracias porque nos han enseñado a  luchar y seguir adelante a pesar de las adversidades.


Revista contra la Trata 5 - Versión en español

Diversos grupos de derechos humanos manifiestan que las políticas regresivas en materia de trabajo y migración exacerban el trabajo forzado y la explotación laboral. 

El año pasado se acordó un significativo protocolo nuevo sobre el trabajo forzado, el cual se comprometía a fortalecer las leyes nacionales y las acciones en materia de protección de los derechos de los trabajadores. Sin embargo, según el último número de la Revista contra la Trata, publicada por la Alianza Global contra la Trata de Mujeres (GAATW por sus siglas en inglés), muchas de las políticas regresivas relacionadas con la migración y el trabajo aún persisten.

El nuevo número de la Revista contra la Trata examina la forma en que la comunidad mundial está abordando el trabajo forzado y la trata de personas. La publicación cuestiona si los esfuerzos recientes han hecho lo suficiente para detener la explotación en el trabajo.

"En el año 2014, diferentes gobiernos de todo el mundo se comprometieron  a combatir el trabajo forzado  a través de un nuevo acuerdo internacional, el Protocolo sobre el trabajo forzoso de la OIT" (Organización Internacional del Trabajo), manifiesta Bandana Pattanaik, coordinadora internacional de GAATW, "ha habido algunos avances en las políticas nacionales y las actividades sindicales, pero en general los gobiernos han priorizado poner freno a la migración sobre la protección de los derechos de los trabajadores ".

La Organización Internacional del Trabajo estima que en el mundo actual hay casi 21 millones de personas en condiciones de trabajo forzoso.  Las autoras y autores de la revista analizan las respuestas a esta forma de explotación, incluyendo las de los sindicatos que luchan por defender la protección de los derechos laborales de los migrantes y de los gobiernos que promulgan leyes de transparencia para las cadenas de suministro (por ejemplo, en Brasil y los Estados Unidos de América).

Muchas de las autoras y autores de esta edición describen cómo las políticas regresivas, como el sorprendentemente generalizado sistema kafala de los visados ​​'atados' para los trabajadores con salarios más bajos, están erosionando estos derechos. Este año, el Reino Unido ratificó un sistema del tipo kafala para las trabajadoras domésticas. La nueva esclavitud del Reino Unido de 2015 mantiene un retrógrado sistema de visados, que restringe el derecho de las trabajadoras domésticas a cambiar de empleador u obtener una indemnización cuando las cosas van mal.

Otras autoras y autores analizan el trabajo forzoso y la trata dentro del contexto de la migración. Lewis y Waite, por ejemplo, enfatizan en que las situaciones de refugiados y solicitantes de asilo están situando a las personas en situación de hiper-precariedad y aumentando el riesgo de explotación. Argumentan que un mayor reconocimiento de los derechos de las personas trabajadoras, en particular de las migrantes, reduciría la incidencia de trabajo forzoso y la trata de personas.

"Proteger los derechos de las trabajadoras y los trabajadores y proveerles de las vías necesarias para exigir un salario justo y condiciones dignas de trabajo, pedir responsabilidades a los empleadores y abogar por cambios sistémicos puede ayudarnos a abordar varios tipos de explotación, incluyendo la trata y el trabajo forzoso", explicó Pattanaik.

Notas para editores:

Se puede concertar entrevistas en inglés con:

  • Rebecca Napier-Moore, editora, Revista contra la trata.
  • Nicole Piper, editora invitada, Revista contra la trata.
  • Marie Segrave, editora invitada, Revista contra la trata.
  • Bandana Pattanaik, Coordinadora Internacional, GAATW


  • La revista incluye estudios de caso de Brasil, Italia, India, Malasia Tailandia, EE.UU. y Reino Unido. Si está interesada/o en entrevistar a alguna de las autoras o autores de estos estudios en particular, por favor háganoslo saber.
  • GAATW lanzó su publicación revisada por pares, Revista contra la trata, en 2012 para promover la calidad y la investigación crítica en la trata y 'contra la trata ". La revista, de acceso libre y gratuito, explora el tema de la trata en un contexto más amplio que incluye análisis de género y las intersecciones con los derechos de la mujer, los derechos laborales y los derechos de los migrantes. La revista ofrece un espacio de diálogo, debate, crítica y discusión de las mejores prácticas para académicas/os y profesionales  que quieren comunicar nuevas ideas y hallazgos.
  • La Alianza Global contra la Trata de Mujeres (GAATW por sus siglas en inglés) es una organización sin ánimo de lucro que trabaja para proteger y defender los derechos humanos de las mujeres objeto de trata y migrantes de todo el mundo. En representación de una red global de más de 120 organizaciones no gubernamentales, nos centramos en los problemas de la migración, el trabajo y la trata de personas, con un énfasis especial en las mujeres. Nuestras actividades incluyen investigación, comunicación e incidencia política con el fin de responsabilizar a los gobiernos, aumentar el acceso a la justicia de mujeres migrantes y objeto de trata y promover el debate global sobre estos temas. 


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.