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[ 30. Jan 2010 ]

Persons concerned needs a centred role in human trafficking debates

LEFÖ Press Release, 26th January 2010: International Non-Governmental Organisations urge the United Nations to take a victim centred approach to human trafficking.


Professor Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, today stated 'Unless States agree on a comprehensive, transparent human rights approach to trafficking in persons, efforts to combat the crime will remain ineffective and trafficked persons will remain vulnerable'. Professor Nowak was speaking at an NGO Meeting organized in parallel to UN negotiations on the Human Trafficking Protocol (the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children).

The Global Alliance against Traffic in Women (GAATW), based in Bangkok, is a network of over 90 anti-trafficking organisations worldwide. LEFÖ, the Austrian anti-trafficking NGO and GAATW member in Austria, which contributed to the event, has been urging governments to adopt a victim centred approach to trafficking for over 15 years. On behalf of the network, Evelyn Probst of LEFÖ stated: 'Whilst international legislation on trafficking has now been in place for 10 years, actual progress in this area by States has been very limited'.

Ana Revenco from the European Anti Trafficking network La Strada International highlighted that ́A victim-centred approach is often overlooked in policies and legislation aimed at combating trafficking', she continued in order to revolutionise work in this area an international review of anti-trafficking efforts is being proposed which would put trafficked persons at the centre of government action'.

Today the governments of Austria, Mexico, Canada and Norway stated their support for a transparent and comprehensive review of anti-trafficking legislation, and also for NGOs to be engaged as equal partners, as they are often the first point of contact made by trafficked persons.