Nations Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW)
is organizing an Expert Group Meeting on "Trafficking in women and
girls" which will take place in New York, USA from 18 to 22 November
2002. The Expert Group Meeting will form part of the Division's
preparation for the forty-seventh session of the Commission on the
Status of Women, which will address as one of its thematic issues
women's human rights and elimination of all forms of violence against
women and girls as defined in the Beijing Platform for Action and
the outcome documents of the twenty-third special session of the
General Assembly. The results of the EGM will also be relevant to
the session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
in 2003 which will address, among other issues, trafficking in persons,
particularly women and children.
of women and children is inextricably linked with violence against
women and women's human rights and is clearly addressed in the Beijing
Platform for Action under Strategic Objective D3: Eliminate trafficking
in women and assist victims of violence due to prostitution and
trafficking. The Platform, adopted at the Fourth World Conference
on Women (1995), also called on Governments to consider the ratification
and enforcement of international conventions on trafficking in persons
and on slavery; and to take appropriate measures to address the
root factors, including external factors, that encourage trafficking
in women and girls for prostitution and other forms of commercialized
sex, in order to eliminate trafficking in women and girls.
The twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled
"Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first
century" in its outcome document, reaffirmed measures to be taken
by the Governments contained in the Beijing Platform for Action
and recognized that gender-based violence: inter alia sexual abuse;
sexual slavery and exploitation; international trafficking in women
and girls; forced prostitution and sexual harassment; as well as
violence against women resulting from cultural prejudice, racism
and racial discrimination, xenophobia, pornography, ethnic cleansing,
armed conflict, foreign occupation, religious and anti-religious
extremism, are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human
person and must be combated and eliminated. The World Conference
against Racism affirmed the "urgent need to prevent combat and eliminate
all forms of trafficking in persons, in particular women and children,
and recognize(d) that victims of trafficking are particularly exposed
to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances".
in women and girls has also been an important focus of attention
within the United Nations system, the international community and
non-governmental organizations, as well as at the regional and national
levels. A number of special rapporteurs of the Commission on Human
Rights, both thematic and country specific, have also addressed
the issue. The Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of
Human Rights takes up trafficking in persons through the activities
of the Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery. More than
120 Member States signed the United Nations Convention against Transnational
Organized Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish
Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing
the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
and Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and
Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational
Organized Crime. As of May 2002, 11 countries had ratified the Protocol.
The complex and global nature of trafficking and the seriousness
of related issues, such as repatriation of victims, requires a coordinated
approach to combating the problem. Resolutions on the problem of
the traffic in women and girls have been adopted by the General
Assembly, the Commission on the Status of Women, the Commission
on Human Rights, and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal
Justice. That Commission has developed a Global Programme against
trafficking in human beings, especially women and children which
includes field projects in a selection of countries to test promising
strategies, such as new structures for collaboration between police,
immigration, victims' support and the judiciary, both within countries
and internationally (linking countries of origin to destination
countries). The General Assembly, in its resolution 55/67, also
encouraged the sharing of knowledge and best practices in dealing
with the problem of trafficking of women and girls and requested
the Secretary-General to compile, as reference and guidance, successful
interventions and strategies in addressing the various dimensions
of the problem based on reports, research and other materials from
within the United Nations, including the United Nations Office for
Drug Control and Crime Prevention, as well as from outside the United
Nations. The Division's Expert Group Meeting will seek to compile
such a guide for submission to the Commission on the Status of Women
at its forty-seventh session.
In order to achieve a coordinated approach to combating trafficking
in women and girls, it is necessary to identify strategies and programmes
which have been shown to be most effective. It is also necessary
to establish means by which such "best practices" may be applied
in a variety of situations and with the most effective results.
The Expert Group Meeting will seek to facilitate coordination and
linkages between existing and future strategies and programmes by
focusing on the issue of best practices in combating trafficking
of women and girls.
The EGM will form part of the preparations for consideration of
the thematic issue of "women's human rights and elimination of all
forms of violence against women and girls" by CSW at its forty-seventh
session and in accordance with the terms of General Assembly resolution
expert group meeting will discuss best practices in combating trafficking
in women and girls with a particular focus on initiatives taken
at the national level and taking into consideration the following
key areas of concern:
- The contributory factors in trafficking in women and children and
strategies to address these factors.
- The increasing association of racial and social marginalization with trafficking and the affects
of these factors on women who have been trafficked.
- The impact of immigration laws on trafficking and migration.
- Strategies and provision of remedies and redress for victims and access to justice,
including witness protection.
- Human rights protection for victims of trafficking.
- The issue of repatriation for victims of trafficking and possible consequences thereof.
Expert Group Meeting will provide input to the consideration of
women's human rights and the elimination of all forms of violence
against women by the CSW at its forty-seventh session. Based on
its deliberations it will also produce a document on best practices
in this area from international, regional and national experiences.
Method of Work
Expert Group Meeting's discussions will be based on background papers
prepared by the organizers, a consultant and the experts. It will
work in plenary session and in smaller working groups based on the
major issues identified. A report will be adopted by consensus.
Profile of Participants
Expert Group Meeting will be attended by ten (10) experts and one
(1) consultant, appointed by the Secretary-General of the United
Nations. DAW/DESA will provide travel and daily subsistence allowance
to the experts and the consultant. In selecting the experts, the
criteria of geographical and gender balance will be respected. The
participants will be drawn from a variety of fields and expertise.
documentation for the meeting will include background papers prepared
by a consultant and the invited experts. Government and United Nations
representatives will be invited to contribute inputs from their
perspectives. The expert group meeting will be conducted in English