Human Trafficking - The Human Rights Framework

Ms. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons.

Ms. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons.

The Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children, Ms. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, spoke at a special session of the Regional Thematic Working Group on International Migration and Human Trafficking entitled, “Human Trafficking: The Human Rights Framework”, held at the United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok on 18 January 2010. The event, co-organized by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights' (OHCHR) Regional Office for South East Asia, brought together different UN agencies engaged in the issue of migration and trafficking in the Asia-Pacific region.

The meeting featured a key note speech from the Special Rapporteur along with presentations from OHCHR, the UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) and Thailand’s representative on the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), Dr. Sriprapha. The Special Rapporteur highlighted how the trafficking of persons continues to increase, and how increasingly men and boys are the victims of human trafficking. The Special Rapporteur outlined how she saw international, regional and national strategies for combating trafficking resting on the following “5 P’s” and “3 R’s” - Protection, Prosecution, Punishment, Prevention, Promotion (of international cooperation), and Redress, Rehabilitation and Reintegration of victims to assume a constructive role in the society. It was further emphasized that the human rights framework needed to be placed at the centre of any efforts to combat human trafficking. Dr. Sriprapha highlighted some of the initiatives that were taking place within ASEAN, including with the newly established AICHR, and emphasised the importance of regional and international human rights mechanisms working together to effectively tackle issues such as human trafficking.

In the afternoon, the Special Rapporteur participated in an interactive dialogue with civil society organizations from the region. The participants discussed the link between the prevention of human trafficking and procedures for safe migration and the creation of sustainable job opportunities. The dialogue also provided an opportunity for civil society to better understand the role of the Special Rapporteur in helping to tackle human trafficking and to discuss the key role of civil society organizations in supporting her work.