ODVV Statements at 16th Session of the Human...
Item 3: Trafficking in Women
This prevalent form of trafficking affects every region in the world, either as a source, transit or destination country. Women and children from developing countries, and from vulnerable parts of society in developed countries, are lured by promises of decent employment into leaving their homes and traveling away. Victims are often provided with false travel documents and an organized network is used to transport them to the destination country, where they find themselves forced into sexual slavery and held in inhumane conditions and constant fear.
The trafficking of women for sexual exploitation is an international, organized, criminal phenomenon that has grave consequences for the safety, welfare and human rights of its victims and violates basic human rights, and totally destroying victims' lives. Countries are affected in various ways. Some see their young women being lured to leave their home country and ending up in the sex industry abroad. Other countries act mainly as transit countries, while several others receive foreign women who become victims of sexual exploitation.
Victims constitute the supply, and abusive employers or sexual exploiters represent the demand. The supply of victims is encouraged by many factors including poverty, the attraction of a perceived higher standard of living elsewhere, weak social and economic structures, a lack of employment opportunities, organized crime, violence against women and children, discrimination against women, government corruption, political instability, armed conflict, and cultural traditions such as traditional slavery . . . On the demand side, factors driving trafficking in persons include the sex industry, and the growing demand for exploitable labour. Sex tourism and child pornography have become worldwide industries, facilitated by technologies such as the Internet, which vastly expand choices available to consumers and permit instant and nearly undetectable transactions.
Another important and determining factor is the exploitation of women by the mass media. Unfortunately treating women as commodities on television and in the cinema, has affected their character and dignity, and destroys them. Over time the effects of this commodity attitude can be seen in the increase in sexual crimes, domestic violence, weakening of relationships and families and ultimately the loss of morality within society. This does not mean that all the issues raised in this statement is not the commodity attitude towards women, but the aim is to remind the important point that respecting women’s character and dignity, will protect society’s values and become immune to vulnerability. With this look the ODVV suggests the following recommendations to the Council for the prevention of trafficking in women and also promotion of women’s dignity related values:
Calls upon states to recognize that human trafficking is a gross violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms and, hence, to criminalize it in all its forms and to condemn and penalize traffickers and intermediaries;
Urges states to ensure that their policies and laws do not legitimize prostitution as the victims' choice of work, or promote the legalization or regulation of prostitution; Urges governments that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others of 1949, the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, including the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children;
Calls upon states to ensure that the protection and support provided to the victims are at the centre of any anti-trafficking policy and to provide protection, assistance and temporary residence permits to victims that are not contingent on their cooperation with the prosecution of their exploiters, as articulated in Articles 6, 7 and 8 of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime;
Urges states to allocate resources for comprehensive programmes designed to provide assistance to, protection for, and healing reintegration into society and rehabilitation of victims;
Also urges states to devise, enforce and strengthen effective measures at the national, regional and international levels to prevent, combat and eliminate all forms of trafficking through comprehensive anti-trafficking strategies which include legislative measures, prevention campaigns and information exchange.