Featured Image: Photo by sammisreachers in Pixabay.
On 30 July; there should be a world-wide concerted effort against trafficking in persons. The United Nations General Assembly in Resolution A/RES/68/192 in 2012; set out 30 July as a day to review and reaffirm the need for action against the criminal global networks dealing in trafficking of persons. The traffick in human beings reveals the hunger of the global economy for human labor and the disrespect for human dignity. Drugs, guns, illegal immigration are the nightmare avenues of how the poor world becomes integrated into the global economy. These are intricate networks and are intertwined with interests in business and politics.
A recent U.N. Report presented to the Commission on the Status of Women; highlighted that human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries and one of the crucial human rights crises today.
From Himalayan villages to Eastern European cities – especially women and girls – are attracted by the prospects of a well-paid job as a domestic servant, waitress or factory worker. Traffickers recruit victims through fake advertizements, mail-order bride catalogues, casual acquaintances, and even family members. Children are trafficked to work in sweatshops, and men to work in the « three D jobs » – dirty, difficult and dangerous.
Despite clear international standards; such as the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons; Especially Women and Children; there is poor implementation; limited governmental infrastructure dedicated to the issue. There is also a tendency to criminalize the victims.
Since 2002; the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime has collected information on trafficking in persons.
The International Labour Organization, the World Health Organization – especially in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention – and the International Organization for Migration – all have anti-trafficking programs; but they have few « people on the ground » dealing directly with the issue.
Thus real progress needs to be made through non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as the Association of World Citizens; which has raised the issue in human rights bodies in Geneva.
Kari Johnstone serves as Acting Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons delivers remarks at an event recognizing the release of the 2018 Trafficking in Persons report and honoring the 2018 ‘TIP Report Heroes’ at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC on June 28, 2018. (State Department photo/ Public Domain). By U.S. Department of State from United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
There are three aspects to this anti-trafficking effort.
The first is to help build political will by giving accurate information to political leaders and the press. The other two aspects depend on the efforts of NGOs themselves. Such efforts call for increased cooperation among NGOs and capacity building.
The second aspect is research into the areas from which persons – especially children and women – are trafficked. These are usually the poorest parts of a country and among marginalized populations. Socio-economic and development projects must be directed to these areas so that there are realistic avenues for advancement.
The third aspect is psychological healing. Very often persons; who have been trafficked have had a disrupted or violent family life. They may have a poor idea of their self-worth. The victim’s psychological health is often ignored by governments. Victims can suffer a strong psychological shock that disrupts their psychological integrity. Thus; it is important to create opportunities for individual and group healing; to give a spiritual dimention through teaching meditation and yoga. There is a need to create adult education facilities so that persons may continue a broken educational cycle.
We must not underestimate the difficulties and dangers; which exist in the struggle against trafficking in persons nor the hard efforts; which are needed for the psychological healing of victims. 30 July can be a rededication for our efforts.
Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.