Report of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children

In her report to the 26th Session of the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children provides a thematic analysis of the first decade of this mandate. Below is a short summary of some of the issues raised. Download the full text. Please note that this is not an official UN summary.


Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children

Joy Ngozi Exeilo


Report Published: 1 April 2014


Mandate reaches first decade

In the decade since the mandate was created, 21 official country visits have been undertaken. The first mandate holder carried out five visits: to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Lebanon in 2005 and to Bahrain, Oman and Qatar in 2006. The current mandate holder has undertaken 16 visits: to Belarus, Poland and Japan in 2009; to Egypt, Argentina and Uruguay in 2010; to Thailand and Australia in 2011; to the United Arab Emirates, Gabon and the Philippines in 2012; to Morocco, Italy, Bahamas and Belize in 2013; and Seychelles in 2014. (para. 30)

The Special Rapporteur has also created a draft checklist of indicators and benchmarks which businesses can use to assess the risks of human trafficking in their supply chains (2012). (para. 31)

The Special Rapporteur is explicitly mandated to respond effectively to reliable allegations of human rights violations, with a view to protecting the rights of actual or potential victims of trafficking. In accordance with established procedures, the Special Rapporteur communicates the case to the Government concerned, requesting clarification and action, either through an allegation letter or through an urgent appeal where the alleged violation is time-sensitive and/or of a very grave nature. Since the mandate was established a total of 99 communications have been sent and a total of 54 responses received. (para. 32)

Child-centred approach

The work of the mandate has confirmed that children are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation, including prostitution and the production of pornography. They are trafficked for forced and exploitative labour on farms, in factories and on fishing boats, for forced begging and for domestic servitude in private homes. While much trafficking of children involves movement across international borders, many countries experience the phenomenon of internal trafficking of children. (para. 38)

The Special Rapporteur has repeatedly emphasized that the needs of child victims of trafficking in terms of assistance, protection and support will often differ substantially from those of adults and has advocated for child-specific and child-centred measures in relation to the identification and protection of, and assistance to, children that are based on the principles and provisions of existing human rights law, most importantly the Convention on the Rights of the Child (A/64/290, paras. 68–76). Such an approach also involves listening and responding to the voices and views of children who have been or who are at risk of being trafficked (A/HRC/23/48, para 69). (para 39)

Changing focus: Abbreviating the mandates’ title

The special rapporteur recommends that the Human Rights Council:

Consider abbreviating the title of the mandate by removing the specific reference to women and children. While that reference is part of the title of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, it may deflect attention from the reality that trafficking is a problem affecting men as well as women and children. (para. 78b)

Areas requiring future study

The special rapporteur recommends that future mandate holders:

Consider undertaking studies in relation to emerging areas of concern, such as ... (iii) trafficking for forced begging and criminal activities, (iv) trafficking for forced or servile marriage and (v) return and the risk of retrafficking. The should consider giving further attention to trafficking in persons for the removal of organs in continuation of the initial work undertaken by the Special Rapporteur. (para. 79a)

Collaboration with other Special Rapporteurs

The Special rapporteur recommends that future mandate holders:

Consider collaborating with the Special Rapporteurs on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and its consequences, on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and on the human rights of migrants, to capitalize on common interests and approaches. (para. 79c)




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