UNODC Expert Group Meeting on National Responses to Trafficking in Persons

From 3 to 5 December, UNODC human trafficking experts from across the globe met in Vienna to discuss national measures and good practices to combat trafficking in persons, as well as planned revisions of UNODC's Model Law against Trafficking in Persons and the Legislative Guide to the United Nations Trafficking in Persons Protocol, two of the core guidance materials of the last 15 years developed to support Member States in better addressing trafficking in persons and fulfilling their obligations under the TIP Protocol.

As well as thematic experts from UNODC's headquarters and key external experts who regularly work with UNODC, the consultation brought together experts from country offices in Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria and Pakistan, and regional offices for the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific, and West and Central Africa.

The purpose of the underlying consultation and coordination exercise is to share experiences from different geographical and legislative contexts in order to amplify the impact of the TIP Protocol across the regions, and is part of a continuous exchange and interaction with relevant counterparts that will include further consultations in the coming months. One day of the consultation meeting focused on identifying and prioritizing current needs related to legislative guidance to help inform forthcoming reviews of the UNODC Model Law and Legislative Guide addressing trafficking in persons.

The Legislative Guide was published in 2004 to support ratification and implementation of the Protocol. The full Guide lays out the basic requirements of the parent Convention and its Protocols, as well as the issues that each State Party must address, while furnishing a range of options and examples that national drafters may wish to consider as they try to implement the TIP Protocol. The drafters of the Guide sought to accommodate different legal traditions, varying levels of institutional development and provide, where available, multiple implementation options.

The Model Law, published in 2009, was designed to be adaptable to the needs of each State, whatever its legal tradition and social, economic, cultural and geographical conditions, and contains all the provisions that States are required or recommended to introduce into their domestic legislation by the TIP Protocol. It seeks to support the review and amendment of existing legislation and adoption of new legislation by States themselves, as well as both facilitating and systematizing UNODC's provision of legislative assistance.

UNODC will hold additional consultations in January and February 2019 and updates to the Legislative Guide and Model Law will be published in mid-2019.