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Workshop on Anti-trafficking Initiatives in Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Unites States

Organized by the Japan Program and Region 1 of the Inter-American Development Bank

Washington, D.C.

June 18, 2003

Prepared by Laura Langberg


The UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, defines trafficking as, “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of deception, or 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 labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”  Trafficking has a varied typology; it may include domestic servitude, prostitution, pornography, forced labor, debt bondage, illegal adoption, forced marriages, boy jockeys, and begging.  

NGOs have been primarily responsible for the repatriation of and providing post-trauma services to victims of trafficking.  Latin America and Africa are the most under-researched, under-served, and under-funded regions of the world on this issue.  These regions are problematic because of the 5Cs: corruption, collusion, cronyism, consumers and crime.  NGOs should focus on getting governments to acknowledge the existence of trafficking, acknowledge trafficking as a crime against international law, adopt specific anti-trafficking legislation, enter into dialogue with them on ways and means to address trafficking, provide funding for NGO assistance and services, develop coordinate programs between states of origin and destination and develop regional strategies.  They should also focus on the 5Ps: prevention, protection, prosecution, provision and participation by all actors.

The ADB has sought to stem trafficking in Asia by addressing the social factors that contribute to the phenomenon of Trafficking in Persons in its members’ internal policies, including approaches in poverty reduction, gender inequalities, social protection to groups vulnerable to trafficking and regional cooperation dialogue.  In addition, the ADB has sought to make trafficking a “mainstream” issue and has included it in many of the internal and external instruments it uses with members.

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