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Human Trafficking and Smuggling
OAS/IOM introductory course on the human rights of migrants, including migrant workers and their familiesWashington DC - March 6, 2008
Anke Strauss - Liaison Officer Office of the IOM Permanent Observer to the United Nations
United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and ChildrenProtocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and AirThe number of countries which signed and ratified the instruments(3 March 2008):The Convention: Signatories: 147, Parties 140Trafficking Protocol:Signatories: 117, Parties 118Smuggling Protocol:Signatories: 112, Parties 111
Nature of the InstrumentsConvention contains general measure against transnational organized crimeProtocols deal with specific crime problems concerning trafficking and smugglingProtocols supplement the ConventionA State must be a party to the Convention to become party to Protocols
Trafficking in persons vs. Smuggling of MigrantsTrafficking in Persons: The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of threat, use of force or other means of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the receiving or giving of payment to a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.
(UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in persons, especially Women and Children)
Smuggling of Migrants: The procurement, in order to obtain directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit of the illegal entry of a person into a State Party of which the person is not a national or a permanent resident.
(UN Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air)
PROTOCOL AGAINST SMUGGLINGPURPOSESTo prevent and combat smugglingTo promote cooperation amongst StatesWhilst protecting the rights of smuggled migrants
WHAT DOES THE SMUGGLING PROTOCOL SEEK TO ACHIEVE?Requires States to: Criminalise smuggling Co-operate to prevent smugglingStrengthen border controls to detect smuggling (Art. 11) Address root causesAppropriate measures to preserve and protect rights Cooperate in return
TRAFFICKING PROTOCOLPURPOSES:To prevent and combat trafficking paying particular attention to women and childrenTo protect and assist victimsTo promote cooperation amongst States to meet these objectives
WHAT DOES THE TRAFFICKING PROTOCOL SEEK TO ACHIEVE?Defines and standardizes terminologyRequires States to criminalize trafficking (Art. 5)Assistance and protection of victims (Art. 6) Repatriation of victims (Art. 8) Control measures: borders, travel documents etc. (Art. 11)Training for border guards, research, information measures
Characteristics of Trafficking
ConsentThe consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the exploitation shall be irrelevant where any of the means of force, threat of, coercion, deception, have been used.The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered trafficking in persons even if this does not involve any of the means set forth in the definition of trafficking in persons.
Compare & Contrast: Smuggling of Migrants (SoM) v. Trafficking in Human Beings (THB)
Misconceptions about TraffickingAll traffickers are menTrafficking of human beings is only trafficking of womenTrafficking of human beings is only about sexual exploitationTrafficking is exclusively an international problem, not a national one
Types of Exploitation
Supply and DemandWhile trade barriers fall to facilitate the freer movement of goods, services, and capital, migration policies have generally become more restrictive and rigid. The tension between the intense demand for cheap labour and services and few legal migration channels create opportunities for intermediaries.
Causes for TraffickingIn the countries of origin:Poverty, unemployment and lack of opportunitiesPolitical and humanitarian crises which displace populations and expose the most vulnerable to the designs of traffickers (e.g. Tsunami, Pakistan Earthquake)In less developed countries, children are entrusted to more affluent family members, friends and acquaintances with the intention to improve their lives
Causes for TraffickingIn the countries of destination:Organized crime/violenceDemand for cheap and low-skilled labourDemand for sex servicesRestrictive immigration policies and lawsPorous borders and/or limited border controlNew technologies and networks such as internet
Incentives for TraffickersFew risks for traffickers - inadequate legislation- weak enforcement measures- corruption
Huge financial profits compared with the low investment - victims can be re-sold several times
Some International Trafficking Routes in the Americas
Shortcomings of the ProtocolSome key terms are not defined (abuse of vulnerability, forced labour, etc.)
Human rights protection for victims - only voluntary (no obligation)
No reference or connection with immigration/labour laws
IOMs Approach to Combating Trafficking
Victim-centred and Rights-based
Concern for the victim lies at the centre of all IOMs activities.
The Three PsPREVENTIONPROTECTIONPROSECUTIONRoot causes;Awareness Raising; Sound Migration PoliciesAssistance;Empowering Victims;Human Rights BasedCriminalisation;
Some good practices from the Americas
Close coordination among national stakeholders (e.g. St. Maarten)Government by-in (at the decision-making / ministerial level) (e.g. Barbados)Improved inter-institutional Data collection (e.g. Colombia)Regional cooperation
Recent developments UN.Gift:
Building Awareness Broadening the knowledge base of data, facts and statistics on global trafficking Stepping up technical assistance
Country of Destination: BiH, Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Tukey, Mali, Italy, Serbia Montenegro, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Poland, Malaysia, ArgentinaCountry of Origin:Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Ghana, Belarus, Bulgaria, Uzbekistan, Colombia, Kyrgystan, Albania, Russia, Dominican Republic, Indonisia