Vienna, 13 October 2023. According to 2022 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, organized criminal groups across the world are responsible for most detected victims and convicted perpetrators of trafficking in persons. Relevant data stated in the report, highlight that larger and most structured organized criminal groups traffic more persons for a longer period of time, and in more violent ways. In particular, women and children suffer more violent exploitation than men.
“Vulnerability is a fertile ground for the exploitation of women, men, and children,” explained Gerson Nozea from Rapha International intervening during the Constructive Dialogue on Trafficking in Persons held in Vienna on 4 October. “The first form of exploitation experienced by most victims of trafficking in persons is the exploitation of their vulnerability,” he further emphasized.
Corruption is also a key enabler of human trafficking. “Tackling human trafficking also means tackling corruption,” highlighted Ioana Bauer from Associatia Eliberare. On the same topic, Suzanne Hoff from La Strada International Association explained that “It is important that persons that witness or face corruption in the context of trafficking in persons, and those who report it, feel safe and heard and have access to protection.”
Child trafficking and corruption in the context of human trafficking were the two key topics discussed during the Constructive Dialogue on Trafficking in Persons convened after the conclusion of the 13th meeting of the Working Group on Trafficking in Persons.
During the dialogue, 157 participants from civil society organizations, academia and the private sector and representatives from 51 governments discussed responses to those concerns through stronger implementation of the Protocol on Trafficking in Persons as well as the status and developments of the Review Mechanism for UNTOC and its Protocols.
“It is critically important that civil society actively engage with governments in the review of the implementation of the Convention and Protocols, because civil society is at the grassroots, and we in government are so far removed generally from what is happening in the field,” emphasized Virginia Prugh, Co-Chair of the Constructive Dialogue. “We need them not only to tell us what we are doing not so well but also what we are doing well. This is essential so we know where we should be putting valuable government resources,” she added.
The Constructive Dialogue gave civil society the opportunity to provide inputs and suggestions on how to strengthen the implementation of the Protocol and discuss ways of cooperating with States.
“It brings us reality, because we hear from the ground, from people from all over the regions of the world, what it is happening and what they are doing against trafficking in persons,” underscored Germán Andrés Calderón Velásquez, Co-Chair of the Constructive Dialogue. “We have so many different views, so many different perspectives, not only from civil society organizations but also from the private sector, from academia, and many other actors that are interested in these issues. So, this diversity enriched our discussions,” he further emphasized.
The summary of the discussions of the Constructive Dialogue by the Co-Chairs and the written contributions from participants will be published on the webpage of the Dialogue as they become available.