The UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children supplements the United Nations Convention on Transnational Crime (UNTOC). The Protocol criminalizes trafficking in persons and urges member States to adopt legislative and other measures as may be necessary to establish trafficking as a criminal offence.
The laws on human trafficking are diverse within the countries of South Asia, where the ratification status of the UNTOC is generally still low. In addition to domestic efforts, international cooperation is a must for successfully responding to human trafficking across the region. There is a need to examine country specific laws to understand where the gaps in responses lie, and also, how Member States can be assisted to fill those gaps. In this regard, a legal and policy review of responses to human trafficking in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka was commissioned jointly by UNODC and UN WOMEN, under the UN Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT).
Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka have all taken steps in the right direction to combat human trafficking; however, there is a need to look closely at country specific laws to understand where the gaps lie. It is in the light of this, that a Legal and Policy Review of Responses to Human Trafficking has been taken up. The Report looks at the law and policy, especially in the context of the Protocol, supplementing work already available in different studies.