dcsimg
English Site French Site Spanish Site Russian Site Arabic Site Chinese Site OHCHR header
Make a donation to OHCHR


Header image for news printout

Thoughts and reflections on 6 years of the Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children delivered at the Conference on the Enforcement of International Human Rights Law Through the Mechanism of UN Special Rapporteurs (Bologna, March 3-4, 2014)

3 March 2014

  1. Introduction

The mandate was created in 2004 by the Commission on Human Rights, at its sixtieth session (decision 2004/110), when it appointed, for a three-year period, a Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children to focus on the human rights aspects of the victims of trafficking in persons. In the same decision, the Commission invited the Special Rapporteur to submit annual reports to the Commission together with recommendations on measures required to uphold and protect the human rights of the victims.

The Commission requested the Special Rapporteur to respond effectively to reliable information on possible human rights violations with a view to protecting the human rights of actual or potential victims of trafficking and to cooperate fully with other relevant special rapporteurs, in particular the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, and to take full account of their contributions to the issue. The Commission also requested the Special Rapporteur to cooperate with relevant United Nations bodies, regional organizations and victims and their representatives.

On 18 June 2008, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur was extended for another three years by the Human Rights Council resolution 8/12.  On 16 June 2011, the Human Rights Council resolution 17/1 extended the Special Rapporteur’s mandate for another three years. 
  
The Council’s resolution 8/12 expressly calls upon the Special Rapporteur to
(a) Promote the prevention of trafficking in persons in all its forms and the adoption of measures to uphold and protect the human rights of victims;
(b) Promote the effective application of relevant international norms and standards and to contribute to the further improvement of them;
(c) Integrate a gender and age perspective throughout the work of his or her mandate, inter alia through the identification of gender- and age-specific vulnerabilities in relation to the issue of trafficking in persons;
(d) Identify and share best practices as well as challenges and obstacles in order to uphold and protect the human rights of the victims and to identify protection gaps in this regard;
(e) Give particular emphasis to recommendations on practical solutions with regard to the implementation of the rights relevant to the mandate, including by the identification of concrete areas and means for international cooperation to tackle the issue of trafficking in persons;
(f) Request, receive and exchange information on trafficking in persons from Governments, treaty bodies, special procedures, specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations and other relevant sources, as appropriate, and, in accordance with current practice, respond effectively to reliable information on alleged human rights violations with a view to protecting the human rights of actual or potential victims of trafficking;
(g) Work in close cooperation, while avoiding unnecessary duplication, with other special procedures and subsidiary organs of the Council, relevant United Nations bodies and mechanisms, including the Inter-agency Coordination Group on Trafficking in Persons, the treaty bodies and regional human rights mechanisms, as well as national human rights institutions and civil society and the private sector; and finally
(h) to report to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.

  1. Scope of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur

The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in persons, especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime is the main international legal instrument the Special Rapporteur refers to in carrying out her mandate. It also includes the main legal framework for the trafficking of children. As of July 2011, 146 States are party to the Protocol.

The protocol defines “trafficking in persons” as: “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs”.

As the Special Rapporteur I also refers to the Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking and the accompanying Commentary on the Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking, developed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), to provide policy guidance on a practical, rights-based approach to the prevention of trafficking and the protection of trafficked persons, with a view to promoting the integration of a human rights perspective into national, regional, and international anti-trafficking laws, policies and interventions.

As trafficking may involve a very broad range of human rights violations, the Special Rapporteur also refers to the core human rights international treaties and to existing regional treaties against trafficking in formulating her recommendations

The scope of my mandate was set out in her first report to the Human Rights Council covers all forms and manifestations of trafficking within the context of the above mentioned instruments, including:

(1) Trafficking in children: children are trafficked for sexual purposes, adoption, child labour (e.g. domestic work, babysitters/nannies, begging, criminal activities like selling drugs, etc.), and participation in armed conflict - mercenaries/child soldiers, sex slaves. The initial belief that only girl children were being trafficked for sexual purposes no longer holds true as the incidence of young boys being trafficked and sexually exploited through unsuspecting areas like sports is fast gaining ground;

(2) Trafficking in men for forced labour and other exploitation: not much attention has been paid to this form of trafficking but the reality is that it is also becoming rampant. Men and boys in particular are trafficked for labour exploitation in construction work, in agriculture, and also in fishing and mining;

(3) Trafficking in women and girls for forced marriage, forced prostitution, sexual exploitation and forced labour (including domestic work, working in factories and mines and other forms of labour): Understandably, much attention has been paid to sex trafficking and available data on trafficking in persons are mainly on this aspect. The Special Rapporteur will explore further trafficking of women for labour exploitation, especially in domestic work and other sectors;

(4) Trafficking in human beings for organs, human body parts and tissue: obtaining facts and figures on this form of trafficking is quite challenging, but it is becoming a growing trend with a ready market, and needs to be studied closely with a view to framing appropriate interventions;

(5) Other forms of trafficking have been sporadically recorded, such as trafficking in persons for ritual purposes as well as trafficking of prisoners.

Developed Framework of Engagement
As far as the mandate of the Special Rapporteur is concerned, the real challenge I see is not just in adopting strategies that will effectively catch the perpetrators and punish them. Rather, it is preferable to put in place strategies that will focus equally on the victim by recognizing and redressing the violations suffered, empowering the victim to speak out without being doubly victimized/jeopardized or stigmatized while also targeting root causes of human trafficking. The strategies must be people -centred and migrant centred, bearing in mind that human trafficking is about people whose basic right to live free particularly from fear and want is under constant threat. We must recognize the dignity of the victims and their right to survival and development. Thus, restorative justice is central to combating human trafficking.

While addressing root causes, innovative approaches need to be sought in tackling the complex problem of human trafficking. The Special Rapporteur believes that international, regional and national strategies for combating trafficking rest on the following 5 P’s; 3 R’s and 3 C’s.

  • 5 Ps: Protection, Prosecution, Punishment, Prevention, Promoting international cooperation and partnership including public and private partnership;
  • 3R’s : Redress, Recovery (Rehabilitation) and Re-integration; and
  • 3 C’s: Capacity, Cooperation and Coordination.

The fulcrum of my work has been to advocate for the implementation of anti-trafficking responses based on these 5Ps, 3Rs and 3Cs and I systematically relates and affirms that in the course of my mandate as you will see from focus of my thematic reports, recommendations to States and non State actors and determination to bring succour to trafficked persons.

  • Activities undertaken by the Special Rapporteur

In the discharge of his/her mandate, the Special Rapporteur:
 

a) Takes action on violations committed against trafficked persons and on situations in which there has been a failure to protect their human rights, in particular by sending communications to Governments or issuing public statements and press releases.

b) Undertakes country visits in order to study the situation in situ and formulate recommendations to prevent and or combat trafficking and protect the human rights of its victims in specific countries and/or regions.
c) Submits annual reports on the activities of the mandate.

  • Individual complaints

The Special Rapporteur takes action on violations committed against trafficked persons and on situations in which there has been a failure to protect their human rights, including ensuring adequate redress for the violations suffered and to provide adequate medical, psychological, social and other necessary assistance. The Special Rapporteur also takes action in cases in which laws and/or policies might negatively impact of the human rights of trafficked persons, in countries of origin, transit and destination, as well as in cases in which efforts to combat or prevent trafficking might have an impact on the human rights of the persons concerned, be they migrants, asylum seekers, or citizens of the country/ies concerned. The Special Rapporteur also takes action on cases of trafficking within the same country (internal trafficking).

The Special Rapporteur sends urgent appeals whenever she receives information indicating that in the context of trafficking an individual or a group of individuals are facing an imminent or are suffering from a continuous human rights violation. Urgent appeals are of a humanitarian nature. Through them, the Special Rapporteur urgently warns the concerned government about a specific situation and requests it to inform her about measures taken to guarantee that the human rights of the persons concerned are fully respected.

In the event that the Special Rapporteur receives information regarding violations of human rights in the context of trafficking that have already occurred, she transmits her concerns and a summary of this information to the government/s concerned for clarification in a so-called letter of allegation. The Special Rapporteur encourages all relevant actors and individuals to submit to her any reliable information they may possess with regard to situations of trafficking and relevant human rights violations.

  • Country visits

Visits undertaken


Year

Country

Document Symbol

2014

Seychelles

 

2013

Belize

 

2013

Bahamas

 

2013

Italy September

 

2013

Morocco (17-21 June)

 

2012

United Arab Emirates (11-17 April)
Gabon (14-18 May)
The Philippines (5 - 9 November)

A/HRC/23/48/Add.1
A/HRC/23/48/Add.2 A/HRC/23/48/Add.3

2011

Australia (17-30 November)
Thailand (8-19 August 2011)

A/HRC/20/18/Add.1
A/HRC/20/18/Add.2

2010

Argentina and Uruguay
(6-11 September, 13-17 September)

A/HRC/17/35/Add.4
A/HRC/17/35/Add.3

2010

Egypt (11-21 April)
Preliminary note

A/HRC/17/35/Add.2 A/HRC/14/32/Add.5

2009

Japan
(12-17 July)

A/HRC/14/32/Add.4

2009

Belarus and Poland
(18-29 May)

A/HRC/14/32/Add.2

The reports of these visits can be found at:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Trafficking/Pages/visits.aspx

Countries Requested that didn’t materialize to official invitations

  • China
  • India
  • Jamaica

Invitations received but didn’t take up the offer to carry out a country mission
Moldova (2011)
Spain (2010, in reply to the mandate's request)
Tanzania (Interactive Dialogue, 10th HRC session, March 2009)
Senegal (2007, in reply to the mandate's request)

It is pertinent to observe that visits and countries of choice for missions are informed by variety of reasons, including whether a country is source, transit or destination, need for geo-graphical spread and balance, good/best practice, or it has huge problem of trafficking and has or has not adopted effective measures to combat and prevent trafficking.

  1. Annual reports

In addition to country reports following visits, the Special Rapporteur presents two thematic reports to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly annually.

Reports to the General Assembly

Year

Session

Thematic title

Document Symbol

2013

68th Session

The issue of trafficking in persons for the purpose of removal of organs

 

2012

67th Session

The issue of human trafficking in supply chains

A/67/261

2011

66th Session

The right to an effective remedy for trafficked persons

A/66/283

2010

65th Session

Prevention of trafficking in persons

A/65/288

2009

64th Session

Identification, protection of and assistance to victims of trafficking

A/64/290

 Reports to the Human Rights Council (HRC)


Year

Session

Thematic title

Document Symbol

2013

23th Session
(HRC)

Integration of a human rights-based approach in measures to discourage the demand that fosters all forms of exploitation of persons, especially women and children, and which leads to human trafficking

A/HRC/23/48

2012

20th Session (HRC)

A human rights-based approach to the administration of criminal justice in cases of trafficking in persons

A/HRC/20/18

2011

17th Session (HRC)

The right to an effective remedy for trafficked persons

A/HRC/17/35

2010

14th Session
(HRC)

Regional and sub-regional cooperation in promoting a human rights-based approach to combatting trafficking in persons

A/HRC/14/32

2009

10th Session (HRC)

Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children

A/HRC/10/16

The Special Rapporteur’s annual reports to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly can be found at http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Trafficking/Pages/annual.aspx.

The Special Rapporteur also holds regular consultations with experts from around the word and different sectors in preparation of her thematic reports. The last such consultation was on the topic of Human Trafficking & Global Supply Chains was held in Ankara.
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Trafficking/Pages/GlobalSupplyChains.aspx 

The Special Rapporteur also regularly sends questionnaires to Government to solicit information meant to feed into her thematic reports. She also takes into consideration relevant information from CSOs in her reports.

  • Cooperation

The mandate undoubtedly, has helped to raise the profile of the problem of trafficking in persons,  in collaboration and close cooperation with all stakeholders not just government or inter-governmental agencies but institutions for research and learning as well as non- governmental organizations including the private sector.

Partnership and cooperation, have been important pillars of this framework; partnership and cooperation are essential to make progress in all other fields, from protection to punishment, prevention, recovery and reintegration; visually partnership and cooperation are like the wheels or tracks that drive the moving vehicle or machinery of anti-trafficking response.

I would like to begin by illustrating briefly how I have addressed and advocated for partnership and cooperation throughout my work as Special Rapporteur.

In all my thematic and country visit reports, for example, I have addressed the importance of cooperation and partnership among different stakeholders such as Governments, businesses, civil society organizations and trafficked persons themselves, not only at a national level but also at sub-regional, regional and international levels.

At the national level, cooperation with civil society organizations with experience and expertise in assisting trafficked persons can help address a capacity gap in identifying victims of trafficking, providing protection and appropriate assistance to the victims and prosecuting perpetrators.  In my 2012 report to the Human Rights Council, I noted that community-based organizations and victim support agencies have become increasingly important in the identification of victims of trafficking.  Working at the forefront and on the ground, civil society organizations are often the first to come into contact with trafficked persons.  As such, they serve a fundamental function by referring victims to the appropriate authorities for assistance, helping to file complaints and reporting illegal activity to law enforcement.  

In exercising of my mandate, I have also been continually advocating the importance of having national rapporteurs and equivalent mechanisms (NREM), to monitor the situation of human trafficking within a country, but also evaluate the degree of implementation of existing legislations as well as the level of efficiency of national action plans and policy orientation along with strengthening the gathering and use of data and reporting on trafficking in human beings. This led to my organization of first global consultation on national rapporteurs and equivalent mechanisms in Berlin, May 2013 and the 2nd meeting will be held in Bangkok, May 2014.

In my 2010 report to the Human Right Council, I committed to pay particular attention to human rights violations against trafficking victims by working with Governments to put in place national mechanisms that will help to identify victims and provide protection and assistance to them while at the same time prosecuting and punishing traffickers. In this regard I recommended that “States should consider the appointment of a national rapporteur who will liaise with the Special Rapporteur to gather, exchange, and process information on trafficking in persons and monitor action.

At the sub-regional and regional levels, cooperation and partnership among States within a sub-region or region can advance the fight against trafficking in a strategic manner, as many cases of trafficking in persons are committed within the same region and the “push” and “pull” factors for such cases often arise out of the political, economic, social and cultural circumstances in the region.  My 2010 report to the  Human Rights Council noted the achievements of some of the regional and sub-regional mechanisms, including the adoption of common workplans or strategies at the regional level, the establishment of regional monitoring bodies to review the degree of implementation of normative instruments and related workplans, guiding and promoting the development of plans of action, multidisciplinary monitoring bodies and specialist counter-trafficking units within law enforcement structures at the national level.  Furthermore, regional mechanisms have a key role in facilitating the development and strengthening of bilateral cooperation mechanisms between countries of the same region, or even with countries or organizations in other regions.

This leads me to the crucial role of international cooperation in combating trafficking in persons, which is often committed transnationally and cannot be always effectively dealt with by a single State. Without international cooperation and collaboration, effective investigation and prosecution of the crime of human trafficking may be almost impossible, given that acts may often take place across borders. In this regard, it is critical to develop cooperation mechanisms between States, either on a bilateral or multilateral basis, to share and exchange information about trafficking cases and to conduct proactive joint investigations by law enforcement authorities of concerned States. Cooperation between source countries and destination countries for trafficked persons is also crucial in preventing trafficking in persons.  As discussed in depth in my report to the General Assembly of 2010, prevention of trafficking in persons requires concerted efforts by all stakeholders, including source, transit and destination countries.  Furthermore, cooperation with international organizations is also strongly encouraged as they have an instrumental role in setting standards. 

The private sector, particularly businesses, are a significant part of the human trafficking chain, as they could be directly linked to it through the recruitment, transport or receipt of workers for purposes of exploitation. They can also be indirectly associated with trafficking through the actions of others, such as suppliers, subcontractors, business partners, labour brokers or private employment agencies.  From this perspective, cooperation and partnership with the private sector are not only logical, but also essential if anti-trafficking responses are to be effective and sustainable. My 2012 report to the General Assembly focuses on the issue of trafficking in persons in global supply chains and explores the ways in which States and businesses may join forces to contribute to combating and preventing this form of human trafficking.  I had following that report a consultation in Ankara, Nov 2012 where participants drawn from private sector and CSOs developed draft benchmarks and indicators to help businesses conduct their due diligence assessment vis à vis trafficking and exploitative labour conditions and ultimately ensure trafficking-free supply chains.  This tool is meant to complement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and was presented at the 23rd session of the Human Rights Council in June 2013. 

As far as my mandate is concerned, I have made partnership and cooperation a cornerstone of my working methods. Besides cooperation with UN agencies and international organizations, I consciously paid particular attention to establishing partnerships with regional organisations.
Regional organizations have a huge role to play in promoting a human rights-based approach to combating human trafficking.

As I opined in my 2010 report to the Human Rights Council, regional and sub-regional mechanisms play a key role in providing a response that is both multilateral and sufficiently close to countries’ realities and specificities within a certain region. Throughout the duration of my mandate I have had a synergetic relationship between international, regional and sub -regional organizations to maximally harness those potentials in the fight against trafficking in persons. Since trafficking is mostly a cross-border (“knows no border”) phenomenon, no one State can tackle it alone and cooperation is therefore imperative.

Thus, I have built alliances and leveraged also on work and resources from OSCE, GRETA, and EU.  I held a consultation in 2010 specifically in Dakar, Senegal to explore avenues for greater cooperation with these regional bodies following my thematic report on “Regional and sub-regional cooperation in promoting a human rights-based approach to combatting trafficking in persons”
I would like to in particular mention here the excellent collaboration that my mandate and the regional mechanisms specifically devoted to anti-trafficking have built over the years. This has included participation in conferences and expert meetings. We have organized joint side events, issued joint public statements to mark EU Anti-trafficking Day.

In addition, throughout my term, I held regular meetings with GRETA to consolidate the standing cooperation between my mandate and the mechanism and enhanced information-sharing to fight the phenomenon of human trafficking. For instance, as a result of such exchanges, it was possible to avoid duplication of a country visit scheduled in 2013 by both mechanism but later undertaken only by GRETA.

In July 2013, I addressed the experts following which a joint press release was issued with the focus of using innovative and effective joint actions, and enhancing information-sharing to fight the phenomenon of human trafficking.

American mechanisms
Organization of American States (OAS)
OAS representatives working on anti-trafficking took part in the regional consultations convened by the SR in Santiago and Bangkok in 2013. The mandate was invited and was represented at a meeting of OAS Member States in September 2013 in Peru to discuss the issue of effective remedies to trafficked persons. The SR is again invited to address the Member States of OAS in February 2014.

African Mechanism
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
ECOWAS took part in the Berlin meeting convened by the SR and was invited to attend the African regional conference on the right to an effective remedy. (Could not make it)

African Commission on Human and people’s Rights (ACHPR)
The SR attended a consultation convened in Addis Ababa in January 2012 when the Roadmap between the UN special procedures and those of the African Commission was agreed upon. The SR actively contributed to the successful outcome of this consultation.

Middle East Mechanism
Gulf Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf  (GCC)
Representatives of the GCCC took part in the Amman regional consultation on the right to effective remedies. (January 2014).

Asia-Pacific mechanism
ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)
The mandate was invited to make a presentation on her mandate and the human rights aspects of trafficking during the workshop on human rights based approach to combat trafficking in the Philippines on November 2013.
Lessons learnt
Mindful of the complementarity of the various regional and sub-regional mechanisms, emphasis was made on the regular exchange of information and coordination. Such exchanges were also instrumental in identification of priority issues in the area of trafficking (for instance the lacuna in addressing the issue of trafficking in persons for the sale of organs was identified and pushed forward by the SR as a result of such dialogue). Similarly, the consultations organised by the SR also provided a platform for a continued dialogue with concerned mechanisms.

Cooperation with Academic Institutions: Mention cooperation with academic institutions- Cambridge, Oxford, Duke University etc.

  • IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF THE MANDATE 

Outputs and Outcome indicators of measurable progress or success
I initiated an evaluation of the mandate of SR TIP ten years after its creation and this is currently on-going and will form my final report to the HRC in June. But, quickly on modest progress made in the last six years ranged from contribution to normative framework at international and national levels, greater understanding of trafficking phenomenon and what human rights approach means for what is primarily viewed from criminal justice perspective; transformation of key recommendations by States Parties for example, on establishing national rapporteurs and focal agencies for combating trafficking at national level for effective coordination and monitoring anti-trafficking measures and implications for human rights of victims, victim centred approach and de-emphasizing abolitionist versus non abolitionist approach to prostitution that led to confounding the fight against human trafficking by locating the victim and respect for human rights at the core of any initiative to combat trafficking.  I contributed to global plan of action by advocating for its adoption and participation in consultations leading up to its adoption.

  • Contribution to normative framework

Right to Effective Remedy for Trafficked Persons
Adequate and effective remedies are often inaccessible for trafficked persons, despite the numerous human rights violations they suffered. While the right to an effective remedy is a well-established norm under international law, in reality there remains a wide gap between the law and its implementation vis-à-vis trafficked persons. In many States, trafficked persons are not provided with remedies as a matter of right, but only with ad hoc measures mainly aimed at facilitating criminal investigation, such as temporary residence permits contingent upon cooperation with law enforcement authorities.

Trafficked persons are rarely known to have received compensation, as they do not have access to information, legal assistance, regular residence status and other assistance necessary to seek compensation. At worst, many trafficked persons are wrongly identified as irregular migrants, detained and deported even without having had a chance to consider seeking remedies.

In my report to the Human Rights Council in 2011, I focused on the legal framework of this right, good practices and main challenges in ensuring its effective implementation at the national level.  The report also set out in detail each component of the right to an effective remedy, identifying specific factors to be considered when applying this right to trafficked persons, and put forward recommendations to States on how they could fulfil their obligations to provide effective remedies to trafficked victims.
 
In the same report, I presented to the Human Rights Council the draft Basic Principles, intended to provide States with useful guidance on implementing the right to an effective remedy. During my interactive dialogue with Council members, the Draft Basic Principles were welcomed by a number of States.
 
The report was informed by an expert consultation held in November 2010 in Bratislava, which brought together experts from academia, civil society, regional and international organizations and UN agencies to discuss possible ways and means of realizing the right to an effective remedy, focusing on the normative framework, content and scope of the this right, as well as States’ responses and concrete strategies to implement it at the national level. I also sought stakeholders’ views through an online discussion forum (February 2011), on the “Draft Basic Principles on the Right to an Effective Remedy for Trafficked Persons”. 

The draft Basic Principles are based on existing international human rights law and standards, and designed to bring clarity to the concept of the right to an effective remedy and to elaborate specific factors to be taken into account when this right is applied to trafficked persons. The right to an effective remedy entails both substantive and procedural obligations for States. International human rights standards make clear that the substantive obligations to provide for an effective remedy to victims of gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law include ensuring equal and effective access to justice and prompt and adequate reparation for harm suffered. According to these standards, reparation covers: restitution, including recovery (rehabilitation); compensation; satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition.  The procedural obligations may be conceived as the range of measures needed to guarantee access to an effective remedy.            

Taking note of the report of the Special Rapporteur, the Human Rights Council adopted Resolution 20/1  in June 2012, which among others, requests the Office of the High Commissioner to organize, in close cooperation with the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, consultations with States, regional intergovernmental organizations and civil society on the draft basic principles on the right to effective remedy for trafficked persons, and to submit a summary thereon to the Human Rights Council for its twenty-sixth session in June 2014. Since March 2013, I have held regional/global consultations in Geneva, Santiago (Chile), Bangkok, New York, Vienna, Abuja, and Jordan. 

The summary report of the regional consultations will be presented to the Human Rights Council at its 26-th session and revised Basic Principles on the Right to an Effective Remedy for Trafficked Persons”. 

  • Conclusion

Special Rapporteurs and their mandates are important vehicles for transporting human rights to where it matters most (domestic system) and for consciously directing change or transformation in law, policy and practice by States and non- States actors. The SR’s give voice and crucial visibility to plights of victims of human rights violations and empower them to speak out about their victimization, to seek redress and access justice. SR’s brings succour to victims, re-affirms that individuals are indeed subjects and not objects of human rights and therefore States must exercise due diligence and take positive measures towards implementation of human rights.
I have seen promising signs of change- my work has led to change in laws at municipal levels namely in Egypt, Argentina, Thailand etc.

Today, although there has been no resolution of contestations around trafficking and prostitution I can confidently submit that there is greater clarity on the rights of victims and greater clarity on the obligations and responsibilities of States following the work of my mandate.

I feel fulfilled by strategic direction that have taken especially informed by me 5 P’s, 3 R;s and 3 C’s framework.

Challenges remains in clarifying the parameters of the international legal definition for transformation at domestic levels, strengthening accountability of non-State actors; involving the civil society and the community; involving victims and vulnerable groups and improving compliance mechanisms at national, regional and international levels.

The task is daunting and I wouldn’t support calls for merging of the mandate of Sale of Children, Contemporary forms of slavery etc. whilst recognizing the overlaps between these mandates- there is still niche and delineations that must be properly consigned in order to effectively and in a sustainable manner address human rights violations therein.

In conclusion, I believe that the final take on effectiveness of SRT mandate and my 6 year work would be scored by other stakeholders. Consequently, I look forward to Professor Mattar’s (Protection Project of JHU) evaluation score card on me.

Contact information
I would also like to take the opportunity to share UNTV film of my work, especially during my mission to Italy last year which is now also on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FE_mSntYm8M

For more information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, please visit her website:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Trafficking/Pages/TraffickingIndex.aspx

Email to get in touch with, including submitting information for urgent appeals and letters of allegation, to the Special Rapporteur: SRtrafficking@ohchr.org

Email to submit information for urgent appeals and letters of allegation:
urgent-action@ohchr.org


A/HRC/10/16, para. 16.

See the Report submitted by the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially, women and children, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo  to the UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, A/HRC/14/32 of 4 May 2010.

There are positive development at the level of ECOWAS and AU. The African Union (AU) Commission Initiative against Trafficking (AU.COMMIT) 2009 Campaign seeks to raise awareness on the Ouagadougou Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, Especially Women and Children, 2006 across the African continent, and propel its implementation.