Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
March 18, 2005
UN Commission on the Status of Women Adopts U.S. Human Trafficking Resolution
An estimated 75 percent of all victims of human trafficking are trafficked for sexual exploitation (Collecting Data on Human Trafficking, Kristiina Kangaspunta, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime). To fully fight this crime, the world must increase attention not only on the root causes that leave people vulnerable to trafficking, but also on eliminating the demand for commercial sexual exploitation—which overwhelmingly impacts women and girls and fuels the growth of human trafficking. Simply put, we must dry up the "market" for victims if we are serious about ending human trafficking.
At the 2005 UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the United States presented a resolution to highlight this need. The resolution, Eliminating Demand for Trafficked Women and Girls for All Forms of Exploitation, attracted more than 50 nations as co-sponsors and was adopted by consensus on March 11, 2005.
The U.S. advanced this resolution at the CSW as part of its ongoing effort to build international partnerships to combat human trafficking—and in response to President Bush's call for increased focus on the demand side of the crime. This was the first resolution of a UN body to focus on eliminating demand for human trafficking, and, with this resolution, the CSW also acknowledged the important link between commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking in women and girls.
The text of the UN Resolution is below:
Eliminating Demand for Trafficked Women and Girls for All Forms of Exploitation
The Commission on the Status of Women,
PP11 Reaffirming the provisions pertaining to all forms of trafficking of women and girls contained in the outcome documents of relevant international conferences and summits, in particular the strategic objective on the issue of trafficking contained in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women;
PP2 Recalling the full range of previous resolutions on the problem of trafficking in women and girls adopted by the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights, in particular their reaffirmation of the principles set forth in the relevant human rights instruments and declarations and the resolve expressed by heads of government in the Millennium Declaration to intensify efforts to fight transnational organized crime in all its dimensions, including trafficking in human beings;
PP3 Recalling the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its Optional Protocol, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and ILO Conventions 29 and 182;
PP4 Emphasizing that the fight against trafficking in women and girls for all forms of exploitation requires a comprehensive approach that addresses all factors and root causes that foster demand and make women and girls vulnerable to trafficking, as well as the protection and rehabilitation of victims;
PP5 Acknowledging the fact that the majority of trafficked persons are women and girls, in particular from developing countries and countries with economies in transition;
PP6 Concerned about the increasing occurrence of trafficking for all forms of exploitation, especially for commercial sexual exploitation, which overwhelmingly affects women and girls;
PP7 Concerned that multiple forms of discrimination and conditions of disadvantage contribute to the vulnerability to trafficking of women and girls, and that indigenous, refugee, internally displaced and migrant women and girls may be particularly at risk;
PP8 Bearing in mind that all states have an obligation to exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and punish perpetrators of trafficking in persons and to provide protection to the victims, and that not doing so violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms;
PP9 Concerned that the exploitation of women in international prostitution and trafficking networks has become one of the major focuses of transnational organized crime;
PP10 Convinced that eliminating demand for all forms of exploitation, including for sexual exploitation, is a key element to combating trafficking in women and girls; and
PP11 Welcoming the appointment of the special rapporteur on the Commission on Human Rights on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, and her intention to devote special attention
in her annual report to thematic issues, including inter alia, the root causes of trafficking and the discouragement of the demand that fosters trafficking for the purposes of all forms of exploitation.
OP12 Calls upon governments to:
a) Take all appropriate measures to eliminate demand for trafficked women and girls for all forms of exploitation;
b) Take appropriate measures to address the root factors, including poverty and gender inequality, as well as external factors that encourage trafficking in women and girls for prostitution and other forms of commercialized sex, forced marriage and forced labor, in order to eliminate such trafficking, including by strengthening existing legislation with a view to providing better protection for the rights of women and girls and to punishing perpetrators, through both criminal and civil measures;
c) Criminalize trafficking in persons, especially women and girls, in all its forms and to condemn and penalize traffickers and intermediaries, while ensuring protection and assistance to the victims of trafficking with full respect for their human rights;
d) Adopt or strengthen and enforce legislative or other measures, such as educational, social and cultural measures, including through bilateral and multilateral cooperation, to deter exploiters and eliminate the demand that fosters trafficking of women and girls for all forms of exploitation; and
e) Conclude bilateral, subregional, regional and international agreements to address the problem of trafficking in persons, especially women and girls, including mutual assistance treaties, agreements and memoranda of understanding to enhance law enforcement and judicial cooperation, and specific measures aimed at reducing demand, as appropriate to complement the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.
OP2 Calls upon governments and encourages civil society to:
a) Take appropriate measures to raise public awareness of the issue of trafficking in persons, particularly in women and girls, including to address the demand side of the problem, and to publicize the laws, regulations and penalties relating to this issue, and to emphasize that trafficking is a crime, in order to eliminate the demand for trafficked women and girls, including by sex tourists;
b) Implement educational programs, including at the local level, to raise awareness of the negative consequences of trafficking in women and girls, including its links to commercial sexual exploitation, organized crime, and harmful public health effects, such as the spread of HIV/AIDS, and of the rights and needs of trafficked women and girls; and
c) Undertake research on best practices, methods and strategies, information and mass media campaigns and social and economic initiatives to prevent and combat trafficking in women and girls, in particular to eliminate demand.
OP3 Encourages governments to intensify collaboration with non-governmental organizations to develop and implement comprehensive programs, including to provide shelter and helplines to victims or potential victims of trafficking and for effective counseling, training and social and economic reintegration into society of victims.
OP4 Encourages the business sector, in particular the tourism industry and Internet providers, to develop or adhere to codes of conduct with a view to preventing trafficking in persons and protecting the victims of such traffic, especially for commercial sexual exploitation, and promoting their rights, dignity and security, including through collaboration with governmental and non-governmental organizations.