Published in May 2019
This module is a resource for lecturers
Criminal justice duties imposed on States by the Protocol against Trafficking in Persons
Trafficking in persons is a serious crime that is of global concern. It affects millions of people worldwide and entails breaches of fundamental human rights. In recognition of this, the Protocol against Trafficking in Persons imposes several obligations on States to criminalize trafficking and hold traffickers to account, as set out in Box 1.
Protocol against Trafficking in Persons
3. The offences established in accordance with article 5 of this Protocol shall be regarded as offences established in accordance with the Convention.
Article 5 Criminalization
1. Each State Party shall adopt such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to establish as criminal offences the conduct set forth in article 3 of this Protocol, when committed intentionally.
2. Each State Party shall also adopt such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to establish as criminal offences:
(a) Subject to the basic concepts of its legal system, attempting to commit an offence established in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article;
(b) Participating as an accomplice in an offence established in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article; and
(c) Organizing or directing other persons to commit an offence established in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article.
Article 10 Information exchange and training
1. Law enforcement, immigration or other relevant authorities of States Parties shall, as appropriate, cooperate with one another by exchanging information, in accordance with their domestic law, to enable them to determine:
(a) Whether individuals crossing or attempting to cross an international border with travel documents belonging to other persons or without travel documents are perpetrators or victims of trafficking in persons;
(b) The types of travel document that individuals have used or attempted to use to cross an international border for the purpose of trafficking in persons; and
(c) The means and methods used by organized criminal groups for the purpose of trafficking in persons, including the recruitment and transportation of victims, routes and links between and among individuals and groups engaged in such trafficking, and possible measures for detecting them.
2. States Parties shall provide or strengthen training for law enforcement, immigration and other relevant officials in the prevention of trafficking in persons. The training should focus on methods used in preventing such trafficking, prosecuting the traffickers and protecting the rights of the victims, including protecting the victims from the traffickers. The training should also take into account the need to consider human rights and child- and gender-sensitive issues and it should encourage cooperation with non-governmental organizations, other relevant organizations and other elements of civil society.
3. A State Party that receives information shall comply with any request by the State Party that transmitted the information that places restrictions on its use.
Article 11 Border measures
1. Without prejudice to international commitments in relation to the free movement of people, States Parties shall strengthen, to the extent possible, such border controls as may be necessary to prevent and detect trafficking in persons.
2. Each State Party shall adopt legislative or other appropriate measures to prevent, to the extent possible, means of transport operated by commercial carriers from being used in the commission of offences established in accordance with article 5 of this Protocol.
3. Where appropriate, and without prejudice to applicable international conventions, such measures shall include establishing the obligation of commercial carriers, including any transportation company or the owner or operator of any means of transport, to ascertain that all passengers are in possession of the travel documents required for entry into the receiving State.
4. Each State Party shall take the necessary measures, in accordance with its domestic law, to provide for sanctions in cases of violation of the obligation set forth in paragraph 3 of this article.
5. Each State Party shall consider taking measures that permit, in accordance with its domestic law, the denial of entry or revocation of visas of persons implicated in the commission of offences established in accordance with this Protocol.
6. Without prejudice to article 27 of the Convention, States Parties shall consider strengthening cooperation among border control agencies by, inter alia, establishing and maintaining direct channels of communication.
Additional obligations are imposed by the parent Convention to the Protocol, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, as well as by various regional instruments, such as the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. Some of these obligations will be analysed in the following sections, others are examined in Module 6.