Reappraisal of the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Person September 27 and 28, 2017 at the United Nations, NY.

Trafficking in Person is an important issues to be reviewed with an appraisal of  the Global Plan of Action on September 27 and 28, 2017.  This is a high level meeting over two days following the opening of the 72nd Session of the United Nations under

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 4.45.29 PMthe new President of the General Assembly, His Excellency Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, (Slovakia).  The new President has outlined his vision and priorities under five headings – peace, migration, sustainable planet, human dignity and modern UN.

In September 2018 we will have the adoption of the the Global Compact on Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees.  Consultations continue with the last consultation to be held in Geneva on October 12, and 13.  Concurrently regional consultation are being held.  The intergovernmental negotiations will commence soon.  The website is very informative and updated.

Preparation for the appraisal of the Global Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons has been on going over a number of month and culminated with a  Political Declaration which will be adopted on September 27th.   A full list of document and a report on the stakeholder meeting held on June 23rd can be accessed HERE

Many NGO’s attended the Stakeholders meeting on June 23rd.  The NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons had prepared the CSTIP Advocacy Doc for Global Plan of Action.

The Political Declaration proposes to be strong using language such as ‘evince our strong political will to take decisive concerted action to end this heinous crime,…’  While there is reference to the integrated and indivisible nature of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and a reference to combating all forms of trafficking in person,  Good Shepherd advocacy is a clear call for specifically referencing the three targets where trafficking in person is mentioned in the 2030 Agenda – target 5.2 (on trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation), target 8.7 (forced labor and child labor) and 16.2 (all forms of trafficking in children) to be given equal priority.

Trafficking - 5.2 8.7 16.2 GPA CTP

We are concerned that the trafficking of women and girls under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 5.2 is falling under the radar for both Member States and the United Nations. For example, the recent High Level Political Forum reviewing SDG 5 made no reference to sex trafficking even though Target 5.2 specifically outlines the need to address the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls.  Check out blog post of July 5   While various forms of violence were mentioned under 5.2 human trafficking was not. 

ViennaThis same point I made during the  Thematic Session in Vienna September 4 and 5 ‘Smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons and contemporary forms of slavery, including appropriate identification, protection and assistance to migrant and trafficking victims.’ Read the full  Statement 5th Thematic Consultation on the Global Compact on Migration

Below are three powerpoint with up to date information on human trafficking.

Global Plan of Action Slides English

Global Plan of Action Slides French

Global Plan of Action Slides Spanish

 

 

 

‘Prostitution affects all of us, not just those in it.’

The title of this post comes from the last summary point of a well research and informative article by Melissa Farley entitled ‘Very inconvenient truths: sex buyers, sexual coercion, and prostitution-harm-denial.’  The article has a number of headings addressing the various issues that arise when we talk about decriminalizing prostitution and addressing DEMAND which drives prostitution.  Taking a holistic approach realizing that prostitution affects all of us and not just those in it is worth considering.

There is another summary point ‘at the root of prostitution, just like other coercive systems, are dehumanization, objectification, sexism, racism, misogyny, lack of empathy/pathological entitlement (pimps and johns), domination, exploitation, and a level of chronic exposure to violence and degradation that destroys the personality and the spirit.’  All of these systems are root causes of the persistence of violence against women.  Prostitution is one of these violences.

Another comment that you may wish to explore and determine how to answer is ‘Prostitution cannot be made safe by legalizing or decriminalizing it. Prostitution needs to be completely abolished.’    Read the full article here

Global Sisters Report – July 29th

 

stop-human-trafficking-word-cloud-related-words-sign-38417317Catholic sisters among those embracing international efforts against Human Trafficking writes Chris Herlinger, a reporter for Global Sisters who attended the July 13th ‘side event’ at the United Nations.

‘Mercy Sr. Angela Reed, who represents the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy International Association at the U.N. has conducted extensive research on the issue of sex trafficking in the Philippines and her native Australia.

“There is no quick fix or grand solution for eliminating the exploitation and commodification of people,” she said, stressing that the problem has its roots in poverty and related issues.’   Read the full article here

July 30 – World Day against Trafficking in Persons

In 2013 the United Nations General Assembly designated July 30 as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. This was an action taken following review of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Person adopted in 2010.  The Global Plan of Action is scheduled to be reviewed in 2017.  Will we see political will  and action commensurate with ‘the bold and transformative steps …needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path’ when member states ‘pledged that no one will be left behind.’  2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Targets within Goal 5, 16 and 8 address human trafficking.

Maria Grazia Giammarinaro,the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children in Geneva on June 30, 2015 said “Today, we should look at trafficking as an economic and social issue, linked with global trends including migration. Therefore prevention is key.  …in the current situation, people fleeing persecution, war or other emergencies are amongst the most vulnerable, often exposed to the risk of trafficking, including children traveling alone, women and girls who are raped during the journey and exploited in prostitution at destination, men, women and children obliged to accept inhuman working conditions to survive.”

The Special Rapporteur ended her address with the following “Trafficking takes place because enormous economic interests lie behind exploitation of the global poor. However, this can be stopped, if people of good will – both powerful people and simple citizens – feel that trafficking is morally and socially unacceptable, and take action against exploitation, injustice, and human rights violations.”

On 13 July 2016 during the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See, in cooperation with the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons, the Salesian Missions, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and ECPAT-USA organized a panel on Eliminating the Trafficking of Children and Youth   See the July 13 Poster Eliminating Child Trafficking   Angela Reed, Mercy Sister was one of the panelists proposing a human rights based life-course approach to end human trafficking.

un-Ihaveavoice-cover-300px-212x300     World Day Against H T

 

“A child of God, sold on the market as a goat, I will never accept that!” St Mary Euphrasia.

This month the prayer is on the theme of Human Trafficking and available in three languages  English  French  Spanish

The Spirituality Center has distributed a reflection paper on the occasion of the 220th year of the birth of St Mary Euphrasia.  Check HERE as a way of integrating justice peace, ministry and spirituality.

Good Shepherd HT

 

The Trafficking in Persons (TIP)2016 Report 2016 published on June 30th

2016_Report_Cover_200_1On June 30, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry released the 2016  (TIP) Trafficking in Persons Report.  The TIP report is prepared by the US State Department and published annually.  It is a comprehensive report providing information on anti-trafficking efforts throughout the world. The report is divided in two parts – pages 1 -66 an overview, topics of special interest, some definitions and methodology.  Part two present the country narratives. The report provides country-specific narratives for 188 countries and territories including the United States. These narratives illustrate the scope of human trafficking and each government’s efforts to combat what is commonly referred to as modern slavery.  Each countries receives a ranking called Tier. There are 4 Tiers: Tier 1, Tier 2; Tier 2 Watch List and Tier 3.  See pages 55 and 56 for a definition of the various tiers and see to see where your country is ranked.  (Pages 66 – 410)  Out of the 188 countries analyzed in the 2016 report, 36 countries were placed on Tier 1; 78 countries on Tier 2; 44 were placed on the Tier 2 Watch List; and 27 countries were placed on Tier 3. In all, there were 27 downgrades and 20 upgrades of countries as compared to last year.                            The TIP Report in full

2016TIP-300x169Part one of the report can be accessed here          It is a combination of text, pictures and other graphics.    This year the report is more balanced with regard to human trafficking for sexual exploitation and trafficking for labour.  The report takes account of gender inequality and references prostitution in a number of places where women and girls are trafficked into prostitution.  See the box inserts on page 5, 8, 10, 12,14 etc. Child Labour features throughout the report e.g. page 16 references Burkina Faso, and girls are mentioned many times in the report.  See page 11 “Young girls are exploited in forced labour around the world.  Peruvian girls are forced to make bricks in the hot sun; in Pakistan debt bondage traps girls in carpet-making factories; in Ethiopia, girls from rural areas are exploited in domestic servitude; and traffickers in Malawi force girls to labour in the agricultural sector.”  Read what a convicted sex trafficker said on page 16.

Good news the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Sri Lanka became parties to The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Person, Especially Women and Children, supplement the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime between April 2015 and March 2016.  See page 19 where the countries that are not State Parties to the Protocol are listed.

Among the examples of partnerships is the Santa Marta Group, ‘a partnership between international police chiefs and Catholic bishops from around the world, working together with civil society to end modern slavery through a process endorsed by Pope Francis.’ The other examples are from Uruguay and Guatemala.

Secretary of State John Kerry noted that ‘modern slavery is connected to a host of 21st century challenges – from environmental sustainability to advancing the lives of women and girls to combating transactional organized crime.  Wherever we find poverty and lack of opportunity – wherever the rule of law is weak and where corruption is most ingrained, where minorities are abused, and where populations can’t count on the protection of governments – we find not just vulnerability to trafficking but zones of impunity where traffickers can prey on their victims.”

This leads me to the United Nations and reference to the  adoption of the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development “to guide the global community’s effort to eradicate poverty, promote peace and equality, and protect the environment.  Anti-trafficking elements are integrated into three of the goals …  5.2; 8.7 and 16.2   While paragraph 27 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is not cited “We will eradicate forced la and human trafficking and end child labour in all its forms” the TIP report this year is largely focusing  on this.  Do check out Alliance 8.7 an Initiative of ILO Working together to end child and modern slavery

On page 43 mention is made of the fact that The United Nations Security Council addressed for the first time the issue of human trafficking on December 16, 2015  when Nadia Murid Basee Taha, a Yezidi survivor of human trafficking gave her testimony to the Security Council.  Nadia had been trafficked by ISIS.

A very positive strategy by President Obama has been the setting up a U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking in December 2015.  There are 11 members and each is a survivor of human trafficking.  It is a formal platform to advise and make recommendations on federal anti-trafficking policies.  It is a two-year term – see page 41.

The content of part 1 has subdivisions – Page 7 – 19  Meeting the Global Challenge: Effective Strategies to Prevent Human Trafficking  Do read about raising awareness on page 12 and Policies and Programs to Reduce Risk and Empower Vulnerable Individuals page 15.  A second subdivision entitled Topics of Special Interests begins on pages 20 highlighting the challenges in protecting vulnerable populations who experience multiple and cumulative hardships, discriminations and social marginalization. Refugees and migrants are extremely vulnerable given that ‘one in every 113 people globally is now either an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee – putting them at a level of risk for which UNHCR knows no precedent.’ UNHCR, Global trends.  The situation in Syria and Lebanon is outline on page 21 highlighting trafficking of women and girls for sex trafficking and migrants fleeing crisis are often trapped in sex and labour trafficking by their smugglers.  “Women, unaccompanied minors, and those denied asylum are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking, including while in transit and upon arrival in destination countries.” page 21

Sometimes there is a price to be paid for advocacy and this is noted in this years report on page 29 and the 2016 TIP Report Heroes are found on pages 48 -52  coming from The Bahamas, Botswana, Cyprus, Nepal, Mauritania, Pakistan, Russia, Senegal and Hungary.  Pages 57 -62 are a series of regional maps showing Tier Placements.

A Human Right-Life Course Five Point Framework Addressing Human Trafficking proposed by Sisters of Mercy and Congregation of Our lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd based on the work of Dr Angela Reed RSM, Ph.D. and Marietta Latonio in a book titled ‘I Have a Voice – Trafficked women in their own words’.

  1. Privileges the insights gained from narratives shared by those who have been trafficked.  –  The U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking is an example of this.
  2. Recognizes that the interplay between the personal life story and systemic oppression renders one vulnerable to human trafficking. –  See challenges in protecting vulnerable populations  page 20. Demand for commercial sex  ‘purchasers of commercial sex’ – (page 12) and ‘reduce the demand for commercial sex ‘(page 15) is a systemic issue together with patriarchy, power, the subjugation of girls and women, gender based violence and the stubborn persistence of a system of prostitution and poverty all fuel human trafficking.
  3. Acknowledges cumulative disadvantage and addresses vulnerabilities across the life cycle. This begins with birth registration, legal registration, citizenship and nationality page, 14,15 and  46  education, health care, decent work and a living wage,  and universal social protection floors.
  4. Prioritizes and uses qualitative data on actual experiences and circumstances of trafficking for policy formulation  – the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking exemplifies this.  Could this be extended to all countries?
  5. Addresses the systemic causes of economic, social,  gender disparity and discriminations.  ‘Poverty does not justify human trafficking’ Page 7  ‘When inequality exists and where certain people lack access to social protection and justice, human traffickers are able to thrive. Page 8  Eradicating poverty, promoting peace and equality  and gender equality are some of the systemic issues that The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development committed to address.

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Ending Human Trafficking by 2030: The role of Global Partnership in Eradicating Modern Slavery

The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations hosted an event on Ending Human Trafficking by 2030 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.  The event is over three hours long and made up of a number of panels.  It is a very informative event.  The panels included a keynote panel, followed by a panel on ‘The Scope of the Problem and the Opportunities it Provides.’  The third panel  focused on ‘What Is Being Done To Address the Problem in a Coordinated Way,’ followed by ‘Insights from Member States’ and closing.  Link to the Web cast

machariakamau_0_0The most outstanding speaker for me was H.E. Macharia Kamau, Kenya’s Ambassador to the United Nations and one of the Co-Chairs of Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. See the full Program of speakers. Ambassador Kamau of all the speakers identified clearly what needs to be done to bring about change. He spoke from his experience. The resistances referred to are real and constitute the challenges that must be addressed.  If you wish to listen to his address move the marker to 3.01 approx.  Ambassador Kamau said ‘it is interesting that we are having this conversation this evening on modern slavery because when I was working for the Sustainable Development Goals, which I was co-charing, you cannot imagine how difficult it was to get these key issues on board. When working on 8.7 it took the direct intervention of the Pope himself – I was sitting there and I know because I scripted it.  These issues were incredible complex, but I am thrilled to see all are on board, and wanting to get on with the business of finishing this scourge from the face of the earth.

For us,  those of us of colour, this is not something we see as a modern phenomena. It is deeply rooted in our history, and our being for over 500 years. There is a monument outside, dedicated to modern slavery, slavery period really – transatlantic slavery, but it could equally be the Indian Ocean Slavery. I don’t know if many of you have seen it?  It took the United Nations  almost 70 odd years to mobilize the gumption to actually put it there.  You would not believe the amount of resistance we have faced over the past 10 years to have a monument to slavery, here at the United Nations.

I am thrilled that there seems to be such voices speaking for this issue and that everyone is finally on board on this issue.  Indeed the Pope was clear, the Pope was clear on many other things too – climate change, inequality, and I want you to know that we were confronted by a huge amount of resistance to have these issues included.  Issues of slavery, of human trafficking, are horrific issues that have deep roots in history, and has deep roots in our psychology. It represents a racism, misogyny, horrible prejudices that have warped the way in which the world functions, to this very day.

We should be clear, if we are serious about the issue of modern slavery, we need to fundamentally reassess the way in which we are in modern society, the way we have been as human beings to each other, the way in which we are as human beings to each other.

8.7 is just a target.  8.7 is a target among 169 other targets.  But I can assure you that 8.7 will mean absolutely nothing, if we are unable to take care of other fundamental challenges that have to do with the way we as  human beings reach out to each other.  How are we able to allow and facilitate the development of all society so that within our countries  inequalities disappear.  Besides those people who are trafficked are trafficked from our countries and they are going to destinations that are in our countries.

We have to take structural responsibility for this.  All the legislation, and good will in the world, if not followed by change of will and a change of mentality, as to how we treat each other, and as to how we embrace each other as human beings,   will mean in the end that we will not succeed.

I am afraid, whether we are talking of unemployment, inequality, issues of gender or climate change which has a direct impact on forcing people into slavery, as their land becomes destroyed – when, the where with all to live off that land is decimated by drought, it is impossible that you expect that these people will not be carted off into all kinds of exploitation, including modern slavery

My message to this forum – yes 8.7!   8.7 helps us to focus,  but 8.7,  this is only symptomatic of a  fundamental and structural challenge that faces us human being, and us as a collective global society.  Somehow, we have to find the belief and the determination to undertake the real structural transformation that is needed in our societies and economies in order to be be able to do what it is we claim to be doing to combat abuse, slavery and exploitation of one human being by the other.

Nuncio, I could tell you about what Kenya is doing – we have legislation of all kinds and acts on the books for a long time.  I bet that Nigeria has probably as many as we do, but if fundamentals do not change, nothing will change.  My sincere hope is that the Pope will continue to focus all our attentions on this issue, in his way, in a manner that challenges us to go beyond the issue of slavery which is a horrific issue, but touches on the way in which we receive each other, embrace each other and ultimately give a space to each other to live in this world as equal being.”

You might ask what is 8.7 ?  This is a way of referring to Sustainable Goal 8   ‘Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all’

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and Target 7  ‘Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.

Other Highlights:  Ms Dona Hubbard witnessed to her personal experience.  An inspiration – see Marker 1.09.  Dona is a member of Airline Ambassadors International.

Imelda Poole of RENATE was a panelist see marker at 1.22 RENATE is a network of religious throughout Europe engaged in ministry to trafficked persons.    Imelda Poole

Human trafficking is mentioned in the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development in two other places.  Paragraph 27 which is the declaration part of the Agenda states “We will seek to build strong economic foundations for all our countries.  Sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth essential for prosperity.  This will only be possible if wealth is shared and income inequality is addressed.  We will work to build  dynamic, sustainable, innovative and people-centered economies, promoting youth employment, and women’s economic empowerment, in particular, and decent work for all.  We will eradicate forced labour and human trafficking and end child labour in all its forms…”   Goal 5 Target 2  states ‘Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private Spheres, including trafficking  and sexual and other types of exploitation.”  Goal 16 Target 2 “End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.”

E_SDG_Icons-05                   Goal 16

An Interesting YouTube

Sacred Space / A Garden of Dreams  presents some reflections on Human Trafficking. To learn more go to this link   Learn more about a new initiative  SDG Alliance 8.7 – join forces globally to end child labour, forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking.  This initiative is launched by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

You might be wondering what SDG and 8.7 mean.  SDG is Sustainable Development Goal and 8 is reference to Goal 8 and 7 is a target within the goal.  SGD Target 8.7 calls on all to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of all forms of child labour as an essential step to achieving decent work for all, full and productive employment and inclusive and sustained economic growth .See the document published on February 12th for more information.

There is a diagram showing the intersectionality of the sustainable development goals in relation to Goal 8 “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”  and the target 8.7 above.

Trafficking in persons is mentioned three times in the outcome document of CSW60 Paragraph 12 recognizing that trafficking in persons disproportionately affects women and girls.  Paragraph 15 Trafficking in persons is listed as violence against women and girls and in the operative paragraph m ensure that the rights and specific needs of women and girls affected and displaced by trafficking in persons, are addressed in national and international plans, strategies and responses…