Best Practice

2310-1407 (online)
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This series sets out best practices and guidelines relating to: freedom of expression, assembly and association; human trafficking; and the treatment of victims of crime. The guidelines are practically orientated and applicable in both larger and small jurisdictions in the Commonwealth. Each book in the series has been written by a Commonwealth expert group comprising of both developed and developing country members.

Report of the Expert Group on Strategies for Combating the Trafficking of Women and Children

Report of the Expert Group on Strategies for Combating the Trafficking of Women and Children You do not have access to this content

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Commonwealth Secretariat
01 Jan 2003
9781848597877 (PDF)

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Trafficking of people (mostly women and children) for commercial sexual activities and forced labour is one of the fastest growing areas of international criminal activity – and one that is of huge concern. Trafficking in humans is now considered the third largest source of organised crime after drugs and arms. The Commonwealth Law Ministers at the 1999 meeting in Trinidad and Tobago concluded that the Commonwealth Secretariat should propose strategies to assist countries in developing national and regional initiatives against human trafficking. This title is the result of these proposals.

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  • Introduction

    The Commonwealth as a voluntary organisation of sovereign Independent States Is committed to fundamental principles enshrined in the Harare Declaration of 1991. These principles include international peace and order, liberty of the individual under the law, human dignity and equality for all. Commonwealth Heads of Governments have also pledged to vigorously pursue the protection and promotion of the fundamental political values of the Commonwealth, fundamental human rights, equality of women so that they may exercise full and equal rights and the promotion of sustainable development and alleviation of poverty.

  • Background: Trafficking in Countries of the Commonwealth: An Overview

    According to the United Nation's Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, which supplements the United Nation's Convention against Trans-national Organised Crime, trafficking in persons.

  • Toward a Gender-Responsive, Rights-Based Perspective on Trafficking

    There is a distinction between the concepts of sex and gender. Sex refers to the biological (genital & reproductive) distinctions between males and females that are fixed at birth and do not generally vary among human communities. Gender refers to differences in social roles, responsibilities, attributes and conduct deemed socially appropriate for men and women, and to ideas about how behaviour and activities should be valued or censured.

  • Prevention Strategies

    Strategies aimed at preventing trafficking in women and children can be viewed as the most crucial, yet least addressed area in terms of combating the phenomenon. Focusing on prevention and strengthening existing strategies in this area must centre on ensuring that vulnerable groups are empowered to access alternative livelihood options in their home countries, instead of being forced to seek ‘greener pastures’ abroad. Prevention strategies can be targeted at the following areas: economic empowerment, education, advocacy and awareness raising and reducing demand in countries of destination.

  • Assistance to Victims of Trafficking

    States are called upon to provide safe accommodation, and ensure that essential services are readily accessible.

  • Research and Database

    For the effective planning and implementation of policies against trafficking of women and children, it is imperative to collect and analyse data relating to the phenomenon. Information gathering is crucial in developing any strategies for combating trafficking.

  • Treatment of Child Victims

    The Expert Group took cognisance of the fact that because of the psychological, mental, physical and psychosocial effects and suffering on children as a result of trafficking, there is need for special consideration in the development of approaches to combat trafficking. At the centre of any initiative dealing with any problem relating to children is the welfare and the best interests of the child itself.

  • Conclusion

    Trafficking is an increasingly important development issue, particularly for many of the poorest countries in the world. Trafficking in women and children is a major component of global trafficking, although the precise magnitude cannot be known due to the dearth and unreliability of data. Sex trafficking in women and children is similarly a significant component of global trafficking.

  • Bibliography and Annex
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