28 July 2017
On the occasion of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons we would like to remind the international community of the crime of human trafficking, which affects every country. People are trafficked within local settings as well as across international borders for domestic servitude, sexual and labour exploitation, begging, forced marriage, organ removal, surrogate wombs and criminal acts. While estimates of the number of victims of human trafficking remain in the tens of millions, worldwide convictions of human traffickers are fewer than 10,000.2
Trafficking in persons is a crime against humanity, an open wound in our world3 that needs to be healed and addressed effectively together.
- to ratify and ensure implementation of the Palermo Protocol (2000) and other relevant conventions;
- to ensure safe, legal and responsible migration pathways for migrants and refugees to travel across borders, as countries have committed in the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030 (2015) and in the New York Declaration (2016);
- to ensure that proper systems are put in place to protect people at risk of being trafficked when migration is occurring;
- to improve protective and supportive services for survivors of trafficking among people on the move, especially by granting humanitarian long term residency permits;
- to ensure that people working with migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are trained in methods of identifying person being trafficked and in upholding human rights standards;
- to promote a national investigation on human trafficking based on intelligence gathering rather than on the witness based approach that exists at present.5
• All stakeholders, including civil society and faith-based organizations, working with migrants and refugees:
- to strengthen initiatives which seek to identify and support victims of trafficking, especially in the border regions and refugees camps;
- to ensure qualified protection and access to justice independently of their legal status.
- to make cooperation a priority and to work towards strengthening existing collaborative networks, for example: to establish referral mechanisms for trafficked people; to organize joint prevention activities, e.g. educational programs organized jointly by UNHCR and faith-based organizations in refugee camps on the dangers of human trafficking and to advise migrants on how to protect themselves; to include organizations from civil society in processes to establish and monitor national anti-trafficking plans.
1 Survivor’s story reported by Red Rama – El Salvador
2 US State Department, Trafficking in Persons Report 2017
3 Cfr: Pope Francis, December 2nd 2014 and November 7th 2016
4 ILO Report 2014, Profits and Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labour
5 In many places, the possibility of trafficked persons being given humanitarian residency permits in a country is based on their participation in denouncing the perpetrators and bringing them to trial and even their participation in the trial.