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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

Who we are

The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) is an Alliance of  more than 80 non-governmental organisations from Africa, Asia, Europe, LAC and North America. The GAATW International Secretariat is based in Bangkok, Thailand and co-ordinates the activities of the Alliance, collects and disseminates information, and advocates on behalf of the Alliance at regional and international levels.

Member Organisations include migrant rights organisations; anti-trafficking organisations; self-organised groups of migrant workers, domestic workers, survivors of trafficking and sex workers; human rights and women's rights organisations; and direct service providers.

GAATW sees the phenomenon of human trafficking intrinsically embedded in the context of migration for the purpose of labour.

GAATW therefore promotes and defends the human rights of all migrants and their families against the threat of an increasingly globalised labour market and calls for safety standards for migrant workers in the process of migration and in the formal and informal work sectors - garment and food processing, agriculture and farming, domestic work, sex work - where slavery-like conditions and practices exist.

GAATW is committed to effecting change at the local level through its Members and allies, and internationally through the work of the International Secretariat and GAATW's special consultative status to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.


Structure

GAATW has a simple structure:

 

GAATW Member Organisations

The Member Organisations (MO) are composed of non-government organisations that fulfill membership conditions and adhere to the Basic Principles of GAATW. Members provide input to the strategic agenda of the Alliance.

As Member Organisations work autonomously, collective action is often around advocacy, information sharing, discussion on issues of common concern, and capacity building initiatives. Priority issues and activities are identified and agreed upon, and are coordinated by the International Secretariat.

Regional Chapters can be formed by Members who wish to coordinate their own regional activities. Currently GAATW has one regional chapter:

GAATW-REDLAC, the GAATW Chapter in Latin-America and the Caribbean, is composed of 11 organisations from Argentina (1), Brazil (2), Colombia (4), Guatemala (1), Honduras (1), Peru (1) and Ecuador (1).

View the full list of members from Africa, Asia, Europe and The Americas.

 

The Working Groups

The Working Groups are temporary units formed by representatives from GAATW’s Member Organisations, International Board, and International Secretariat. Working Groups support GAATW by reviewing and strengthening the organisational structure of the Alliance and its membership. The Working Group members are nominated by the International Board or the International Secretariat or any Member Organisation of the Alliance. Currently, there are no working groups.

 

The Associates

Associates will function more or less like Working Group Members. Associate members are comprised of individuals with thematic/technical expertise particularly in research and advocacy. Associates may be invited to form Working Groups at some point if the need to work together on specific programme areas arises.

 

The GAATW International Board (IB) meets once a year and it monitors the implementation of the strategic plan, the functioning of the International Secretariat (IS) in this regard and gives the final approval to the Regional Chapters’ Activity Plans. It nominates new IB members, and an Executive committee (Ex-Co) which directly oversees the daily running of the IS with regard to financial, personnel, and legal matters. Under the Current Statute the composition of the IB members is mandated to reflect representation from different world regions and professional experiences. 

Manassanun (Ma) Pongnorrawit
Chair
Manassanun Pongnorrawit is a lawyer at the Thongbai Thongpao Law Firm. She has implemented many information awareness programs about Thai law in communities in northern Thailand. She was also involved in outreach projects with women sex workers and migrant women workers who are victims of abuse and labour exploitation. She completed her Law Degree at the Ramkhamheng University in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Supang Chantavanich
Secretary
Ajarn Supang Chantavanich is a Professor emeritus at the Asian Research Center for Migration, Institute of Asian Studies in Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. Within the Institute, her research focuses on refugee, migrant worker, and human trafficking issues. She was the first chairperson of the Asia Pacific Migration Research Network (APMRN) during 1998-2002 and a member of the Advisory Committee of the International Refugee.

Thipsuda (Ching) Taweesaengsuksagul
Vice-Chair and Treasurer
Thipsuda Taweesaengsuksagul is the Office and Finance Manager at Terre des Hommes (TDH) Germany based in Bangkok for more than 10 years. She has a major in Accounting from Bangkok University.  

Dr Renu Adhikari
Board Member, Asia
Dr Renu Rajbhandari founded Women’s Rehabilitation Center-Nepal (WOREC) in 1991 as founder chairperson with a goal of supporting women survivors of trafficking and HIV/AIDS.

Under her able leadership WOREC has successfully integrated trafficking and migration, gender, reproductive health/ reproductive rights, collective empowerment and social mobilisation into one entity based on the principles of human rights, social justice and equity.

For over two decades she has been active in national and international lobbying and advocacy for the rights of migrant women and survivors of trafficking and for promotion and protection of women’s rights. She has contributed to policy formulation on women rights issues.

Victoria Ijeoma Nwogu
Board Member, Africa
Victoria Nwogu is a longstanding advocate for the rights-based approach to anti-trafficking interventions in Nigeria, and has contributed to shaping policy and legislation on the issue. Since 2011, Victoria has been a visiting Professor at the Legal Studies Department of the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary, where she lectures a course on ‘Human Rights in Africa with a Special Focus on Gender Issues’. Victoria has conducted research on diverse human rights issues and contributed to publications and conferences within the human rights community on gender and migration, human trafficking and women’s rights in general. Most notably, she co-authored the anthology, Collateral Damage: The Impact of Anti-Trafficking Measures on Human Rights around the World (GAATW, 2007).

Elaine Pearson
Board Member
Elaine Pearson, Australia Director at Human Rights Watch works to encourage the Australian government to prioritise human rights as part of its foreign policy. Based in Sydney, Pearson works to build Human Rights Watch's profile in Australia and regularly briefs journalists and policy makers. Pearson writes frequently for numerous publications, and her articles have appeared in the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, the Australian, and Human Rights Quarterly. From 2007 to 2012 she was the Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch's Asia Division based in New York.

Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Pearson worked for the United Nations and various non-governmental organizations in Asia and London. She has specialised expertise in human trafficking and migration. Pearson holds degrees in law and arts from Australia's Murdoch University and obtained her Master's degree in public policy at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Evelyn Probst
Board Member, Europe
Evelyn Probst has a Master in Psychology and is a certified trainer who has been working on the issue of Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) for more than 15 years.

Since 2000 she has been the coordinator of LEFÖ (Information, Education and Support for Migrant Women) – Intervention Centre for Trafficked Women and Girls (IBF). LEFÖ’s areas of the work include access to compensation for trafficked persons, inter-linkages between THB and undocumented work, etc.

Evelyn is a much sought-after trainer for seminars on the issue of THB carried out by public authorities, police, NGOs and other relevant actors. She was a member in the EU Expert group on Trafficking from 2008 to 2011. Due to her long experience in the field she has been a teacher at the Austrian University in Klagenfurt for around ten years and has also given classes at other Austrian Universities as well as at the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico.

Andrea Querol
Board Member, LAC
Andrea Querol is a therapist, with an MBA in Clinical and Family Psychology. She coordinated a therapeutic community in Lima, worked as a psychotherapist for over 15 years, and on aspects of social and community prevention. She also specialised in extra-judicial mediation.

She has worked in public and private institutions in Canada and Venezuela, acting as a consultant to top management. She has served as a consultant to national and international organisations for over twenty years, and until June 2013, was the Executive Director of Capital Humano y Social Alternativo (NGO), a position she held for ten years. She has completed a number of studies and is the author and/or editor of various publications on exploitation and human trafficking in Peru.

She is one of the founders of Capital Humano y Social Alternativo, whose main purpose is to fight against human trafficking and exploitation of children and adolescents. Currently, she is a member of the Board of directors of international Networks, as well as of private consultancies and service organisations. 

Dr Annalee Lepp
Board Member, North America
Annalee is currently an Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Victoria, British Columbia in Canada. She was trained as a historian and her historical research has focused on Canadian gender, family, and legal history and more specifically the history of marital breakdown and domestic violence in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Canada. Her other main area of research concentrates on trafficking in persons, transnational labour migration, and irregular border movements in the global and especially the Canadian context.

Annalee was a co-founder in 1996 and is the current director of the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) Canada, a member organisation of GAATW. As part of her work with GAATW-Canada, Annalee has been a vocal supporter of sex workers’ rights in Canada and has worked in solidarity with sex workers rights groups there.

Dr Ratchada Jayagupta 
Board Member
Ratchada is a Research Fellow on forced migration specialising in anti-human trafficking at the Institute of Asian Studies in Chulalongkorrn University. She was a National Project Coordinator at United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP-Thailand Office). She was also the international programme liaison officer for the Southeast Asian Regional School in Forced Migration (SEARSFM), in collaboration with the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC), University of Oxford and the IASFM (International Association for the Study of Forced Migration) 8th Conference in January 2003, Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

Dr Rosalia (Lia) Sciortino
Board Member 
Lia is a cultural anthropologist and development sociologist who earned her doctorate at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam with honours. Currently, she is Associate Professor at the Institute for Population and Social Research at Mahidol University in Thailand, Visiting Professor at the Master in International Development at Chulalongkorn University and Executive Director of SEA Junction in Bangkok - a public venue for interaction and cross-learning on Southeast Asia art, cultures and societies. Formerly she was the regional director for Asia of the Rockefeller Foundation and the regional director of East and Southeast Asia for the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). 

Dr Sciortino has published widely on development issues in Southeast Asia, in particular gender, migration, poverty and vulnerability and regional integration in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and ASEAN, and speaks fluently Italian, English, Indonesian and Dutch.

GAATW's International Secretariat is based in Bangkok, Thailand. Its core functions are to service and support the members of the Alliance by: 

  • Making local issues internationally visible and supporting Members in their advocacy efforts;
  • Helping to apply international policies and standards locally;
  • Producing evidence, research and analysis on issues that impact migrant women workers;
  • Facilitating local, regional and international representation of Members at relevant fora;

  • Building, facilitating and maintaining mutual exchanges, communications and learning with and among Alliance members;
  • Collecting, processing, disseminating and making easily accessible to members, essential documents on trafficking, as well as generally relevant information, in support of their activities;
  • Developing and making available information resources on trafficking, gender, globalisation and informal economies, rights-based advocacy, and research methodologies;
  • Facilitating capacity building and organising conceptual clarity sessions for Alliance members as well as non-members upon request.

International Secretariat Staff  

Bandana Pattanaik
International Coordinator
Bandana is responsible for the overall coordination of the International Secretariat. Bandana has been with GAATW since 1999 doing research, training, and working with self-organised groups. She holds an MA in English Literature as well as an MA in Women’s Studies.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Apivart (Nong) Chaison
Finance Officer
Nong is from Nakorn Phanom, the Northeastern province in Thailand bordering Laos. She is the Finance Officer and is responsible for GAATW’s financial management. Having started work with GAATW in 1997, she is now the most senior staff member at GAATW-IS. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Naetima (Mui) Kosolsaksakul
Accountant
Mui joined the GAATW-IS in 2004 as a part-time consultant in finance and accounting. She is responsible for ensuring that GAATW’s finances are carried out in accordance with international accounting standards. 

Alfie Gordo
Communications and Production Officer
Alfie joined the GAATW International Secretariat in 2005. She is responsible for managing the Secretariat’s information technology including the GAATW website, design and production of print materials, and visual documentation. She is also involved in project implementation under the Power in Migration and Work programme. She previously workerd as programme associate for the Asian Women’s Human Rights Council (AWHRC)-Manila and as political affairs officer for the Philippine Congress. Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Chus Álvarez
LAC Programme Officer
Chus joined the GAATW-IS in 2015 as a Programme Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region. She is responsible for coordinating and strengthening the work of the alliance in the region. She holds a degree in social work and has post-graduate studies in gender equality and social development. Her experience is very diverse but focuses on social development, migration and women’s empowerment. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Borislav Gerasimov 
Communications and Advocacy Officer and Editor of The Anti-Trafficking Review
Borislav joined GAATW-IS as Communications Officer in August 2015. He is responsible for updating the GAATW website and social media, preparing the E-Bulletins and the editing of the Anti-Trafficking Review. Borislav holds a degree in English Philology from the University of Sofia and has previously worked for our Bulgarian member Animus Association (2001-2009) and our European member La Strada International (2009-2016). Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Leah Sullivan
Communications and Advocacy Officer
Leah joined GAATW-IS in 2016 and focuses on advocacy-oriented communications and developing a communications plan for the Alliance. She holds a BA in European Studies and an MA in Human Rights, and has previously worked for Anti-Slavery International, UNDP, and in international diplomacy, focusing on women’s political participation and labour rights. She takes an active interest in trade and climate justice. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Eunha Gim
Research and Training Officer
Eunha joined GAATW-IS in November 2017 and is responsible for coordinating and facilitating a feminist participatory action research (FPAR) project on safe and fair migration. Her first Masters degree was in International peace studies and she recently completed her study on human rights and democratisation jointly hosted by Mahidol University and Universitas Gadjah Mada. Before joining GAATW-IS, Eunha worked in the international development sector, focusing on child rights. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

GAATW International Secretariat

For general inquiries or publication order, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Basic Principles of GAATW

The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) is a network of non-governmental organisations from all regions of the world, who share a deep concern for the women, children and men whose human rights have been violated by the criminal practice of human trafficking.

GAATW is committed to work for changes in the political, economic, social and legal systems and structures which contribute to the persistence of trafficking in persons and other human rights violations in the context of migratory movements for diverse purposes, including security of labour and livelihood. In particular, GAATW addresses the diverse issues arising from the trafficking in persons as currently defined in the Palermo Protocol. Within this framework, it addresses the core aspects of trafficking in persons: forced labour and services in all sectors of the formal and informal economy as well as the public and private organisation of work. Furthermore, GAATW promotes and defends the rights and safety of all migrants and their families against the threats of an increasingly globalised and informal labour market.

GAATW applies a Human Rights Based Approach to address trafficking issues, which means:

  • Centring the human rights of trafficked persons and those in vulnerable situations, in all anti-trafficking activities

  • Acknowledging the equality of all persons to exercise, defend and promote their inherent, universal and indivisible human rights

  • Non-discrimination on any grounds, including – singly or in combination - race, ethnicity, descent, sexual orientation or gender identity, religion, gender, age, migrant status, national or social origin,  birth or other status, or occupation (including work in the informal sectors such as domestic work, sex work, etc.)

  • Primacy of the principles of accountability, participation and inclusivity/ non-discrimination in working methodologies, and organisational structures and procedures. In this respect, self-representation and organisation of those directly affected by trafficking are strongly encouraged and supported.

GAATW supports the sharing of knowledge, working experiences and working methodologies amongst its members, in order to enhance the effectiveness of collective anti-trafficking activities.

GAATW welcomes co-operation with all organisations, agencies or persons who share its principles.

GAATW is organisationally independent and will refrain from any party political, governmental, commercial or religious affiliations. However, members are autonomous and free to enter into affiliations of their choice, as long as these are not contradictory to GAATW's Basic Principles.

 


History

The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) was founded in 1994 at a conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where participants were concerned about the contemporary discourse and activism around trafficking in women. The Alliance was born of a collective decision to understand the elements of trafficking from a human rights perspective, in order to improve the lives of trafficked women.

The founding of GAATW lay in the acknowledgement of the need to engage politically with the issue of human trafficking by focusing on a human rights perspective, while incorporating the voices of trafficked persons and other affected communities in policy discussions.

Over the next years has GAATW made significant contributions to the anti-trafficking movement. It was the first to conceptualise trafficking as both a consequence and cause of human rights violations, and to see the elements of trafficking apparent in a range of formal and non-formal sectors. GAATW's Human Rights Standards in the Treatment of Trafficked Persons (1999) and the Human Rights and Trafficking in Persons (2000) were ground-breaking applications of human rights to the trafficking context and were instrumental in expanding the concept of trafficking in the United Nations Trafficking Protocol.

Between 2001 and 2005 GAATW advocated for change at the national level to implement the Palermo Protocol, and continue as a group to review, analyse, propose, and monitor changes in the anti-trafficking scene from a human rights based perspective.

Today, the Alliance has grown into a worldwide network of over 100 organisational members and a wide community of partners and allies.

These are the basic facts. However, over the past 20 years, the history of GAATW has woven a complex and powerful tale; let us take you on the journey:

 

Mission

GAATW's mission is to ensure that the human rights of all migrating women are respected and protected by authorities and agencies.

GAATW promotes rights of women migrant workers and trafficked persons and believes that ensuring safe migration and fair work places should be at the core of all anti-trafficking efforts. We advocate for living and working conditions that provide women with more alternatives in their countries of origin, and to develop and disseminate information to women about migration, working conditions and their rights.

GAATW advocates for the incorporation of Human Rights Standards in all anti-trafficking initiatives, including in the implementation of the Trafficking Protocol, Supplementary to the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (2000). GAATW strives to promote and share good practices of anti-trafficking initiatives but also to critique practices and policies that are having a negative impact or are causing harm to trafficked persons, migrants, and other communities.

GAATW supports the self-organisation of women in vulnerable and marginalized situations, especially migrant workers in the informal sector and aims to strengthen their efforts of self-representation and advocacy.

GAATW's mandate focuses on the issues of migration, labour and human trafficking with a special emphasis on women. GAATW International Secretariat (IS) works in conjunction with its member and partner organisations and aims to plan and implement the strategic agenda of the Alliance in a democratic manner centring the rights of all migrating people.

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.