Efforts to combat trafficking in persons

Considerable steps have been taken to combat trafficking in persons. One approach has been to adopt a series of conventions at the international and regional level as well as several pieces of national legislation to prevent and combat trafficking in persons. Similarly, in recent years, private sector organisations and civil society have adopted initiatives for the same purpose. OECD countries, as well as a number of non-OECD countries, are parties to many of these instruments (Table 1. 4).

International and regional conventions and national legislation

This section provides a brief overview of the main instruments developed to prevent and combat trafficking in persons. The main international and regional instruments - as well as a selection of national instruments - that deal specifically with the subject of trafficking in persons or the issue of forced labour are found below.

The United Nations Trafficking in Persons Protocol

The “United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime”, adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 2000, was opened for signature by Member States in Palermo, Italy, on 12-15 December 2000 and entered into force on 29 September 2003. The Convention is supplemented by three protocols: the “Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children” (United Nations, 2000a); the “Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air” (United Nations, 2000b); and the “Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition”. Countries have to be parties to the Convention before they can become parties to any of the Protocols. Some 80 countries signed the “Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children” in Palermo on 12-15 December 2000. Currently there are 117 signatories and 169 parties to the Protocol.3

The “Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime” (the “UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol”), entered into force on 25 December 2003. The Protocol is the first global legally binding instrument with an agreed definition on trafficking in persons. According to Article 3(a) of the Protocol, “Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.” The purpose of the Protocol is to protect and assist the victims of trafficking in persons with full respect for their human rights and to facilitate for the harmonisation of national approaches with regard to the establishment of domestic criminal offences that would support efficient international co-operation in investigating and prosecuting trafficking-in-persons cases.

Table 1.4. Ratification of international and regional conventions on trafficking in persons and forced labour by OECD countries and APEC member economies

United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children

United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic of Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others

Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings

ILO Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)

ILO Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105)

Australia

Austria

Belgium

Brunei Darussalam

Canada

Chile

China, People's Republic c

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hong Kong, China

Hungary

Iceland

Indonesia

Ireland

Israel

Italy

Japan

Korea

Luxembourg

Malaysia

Mexico

Netherlands

New Zealand

Norway

Papua New Guinea Peru

Philippines

Poland

Portugal

Russian Federation

Singapore

Slovak Republic

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Chinese Taipei

Thailand

Turkey

United Kingdom United States Viet Nam

R

R

R

R

R

>f AC R R R A R R R

R

R

R

R

R

R

S

S

R

AC

R

A

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

AC

R

R

R

R

R

n.a.

R

R

R

R

AC

AC

D

S

R

AC

AC

S

AC

AC

AC

AC

R

AC

AC

R

AC

AC

AC

AC

D

D

AC

n.a.

n.a.

R

R

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

R

R

R

R

R

R

n.a.

R

R

n.a.

R

n.a.

R

n.a.

n.a.

R

n.a.

n.a.

R

n.a.

R

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

R

R

n.a.

n.a.

R

R

R

R

R

n.a.

n.a.

S

R

n.a.

n.a.

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

n.a.

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

R

n.a.

R

R

R

R

Total

S - Signature

R - Ratification

A - Acceptance

AP - Approval

AC - Accession

D - Succession

* - Notified as applicable

  • 2
  • 35
  • 2
  • 0
  • 4
  • 0
  • 0
  • 2
  • 3
  • 0
  • 0
  • 14
  • 3
  • 0
  • 1
  • 23
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 41
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 38
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1

Notes: For UN Treaties, “Ratification” is defined as the international act whereby a state indicates its consent to be bound to a treaty if the parties intended to show their consent by such an act. In the case of bilateral treaties, ratification is usually accomplished by exchanging the requisite instruments, while in the case of multilateral treaties the usual procedure is for the depositary to collect the ratifications of all states, keeping all parties informed of the situation. The institution of ratification grants states the necessary timeframe to seek the required approval for the treaty on the domestic level and to enact the necessary legislation to give domestic effect to that treaty (Arts.2 (1) (b), 14 (1) and 16, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969).

For UN Conventions, “Accession” is defined as the act whereby a state accepts the offer or the opportunity to become a party to a treaty already negotiated and signed by other states. It has the same legal effect as ratification. Accession usually occurs after the treaty has entered into force (Arts.2 (1) (b) and 15, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969).

For ILO Conventions, ratifying countries commit themselves to applying the convention in national law and practice and reporting on its application at regular intervals.

The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.

Source: Based on the following information: United Nations (2000a), “Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish

Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational

Organized Crime”, Treaty Collection, database, https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=IND&mtdsg no=XVIII-12- a&chapter=18&lang=en; United Nations (1950), “Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others”, Treaty Collection, database, https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=IND&mtdsg no=VII-11- a&chapter=7&lang=en; Council of Europe (2008), “Status of Signature and Ratification of the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings”, www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/trafficking/Flags-sos en.asp; ILO (1930a), “Ratifications of C029 - Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)”, www.ilo.org/dvn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:11300:0::NQ:11300:P11300 INSTRUMENT ID:3 12174; ILO (1957a), “Ratifications of C105 - Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105)”, www.ilo.org/dvn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:11300:0::NO:11300:P11300 INSTRUMENT ID:312250.

The United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others

The “Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others” (United Nations, 1950) was approved by the General Assembly in 1949 and entered into force on 25 July 1951. Although “trafficking” is not explicitly defined in the Convention, Article 1 sets out that Parties to the Convention should punish “any person who, to gratify the passions of another: 1) procures, entices or leads away, for purposes of prostitution, another person, even with the consent of that person; 2) exploits the prostitution of another person, even with the consent of that person.” State Parties to the Convention should also punish anyone who “keeps or manages, or knowingly finances or takes part in the financing of a brothel” or “knowingly lets or rents a building or other place or any part thereof for the purpose of the prostitution of others.”

 
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