Conversation Circle Report: Trafficking Conversation Circle

NGO / CSW 56 Forum 2012 – Conversation Circles


Monday, 27 Feb 2012 – Trafficking in Women and Girls

Moderator: Winifred Doherty, NGO Representative, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd

Responses to three conversation questions

Question 1: What Issues need to be addressed in the Trafficking of Women and Girls?

education as a form of prevention for all sectors of community on the issue of human trafficking (social justice, cultural demand, raise awareness etc)
Internet – flagging of sex trafficking areas
Torture and trafficking from infancy
undercover nature of trafficking
victims of trafficking should not be criminalised e.g. deportation of victims
who is listening to the issue?
vulnerability issues that lead women into prostitution
vulnerability of at-risk populations
mail-to-order brides
advocate for countries to have laws / implement legislation on trafficking
government to government collaboration on the prosecution of traffickers
legislation for the prosecution of Johns / customers; address / eliminate the demand – criminalise the men (Swedish model)
kidnapping of young girls into prostitution
government to government co-operation to help the poor
aftermath of trafficking – helping the victims, provide counselling, address stigmatisation of victims
support systems to prevent victimisation and to help victims; provision of health care and social services
build relationships with victims of TIP
richer governments in destination countries to take responsibility for trafficked victims in their country
networking – inter organisation collaboration; form coalitions
main factor leading to TIP – poverty (decent jobs / wages, lack of socio-economic opportunities for vulnerable women, gender inequality )
human rights perspective to prostituted victims
role / value of women in society; women and girls seen as commodities
blaming of victims
definition of trafficking / difference between trafficking and smuggling
address labour laws
investigate small and family owned businesses (e.g. restaurants, shops etc)
organized crime
tracking of the different stages of trafficking; follow the money
corruption of government structures (politicians, police, judges)
sex tourism, pornography, internet
normalisation of prostitution; viewing prostitution as sex work is a problem as it removes the violence from the issue; male denial about prostitution
pornography as a socialising agent demand for commercial sex
need for a victim centred approach

Question 2: How can we work together in the coming year?

review the materials of our country / state on legislation – is it enforced? becoming watchdogs
CEDAW – familiarity with the document and utilise its principles
sharing of best practices
sharing of information with children and youths
sharing of resources (e.g. publications, data etc)
create accountability systems to prevent money laundering – profits from human trafficking network – government agencies, NGOs, FBOs, social media and form coalitions within the country and beyond borders
hotline campaigns
income generating projects for communities in rural areas
emailing information / use social media – getting people in the chain to prevent TIP advocate for the implementation of laws and policies
have a starter kit
promote public awareness
education of rural women, children, youths, men, governments
blue ribbons
documentation / policy building / research
boycotting industries that do not practice fair trade
start support groups for survivors of trafficking

Question 3: How can we prepare for CSW 57 – Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls?

invite Beth Klein (lawyer) from Denver
“Sexting” – latest methodologies of childhood / teen pornography how do we alert children on gravity of behaviour
internet flagging of sex trafficking
specific responses to torture
find appropriate mechanisms to raise issues
press as stakeholder – use media to report on human trafficking
share best practices e.g. Nordic law, shelter, mental health
invite key researches on TIP, survivors of TIP, men, influential leaders who are globally known and respect to share at CSW57
address supply and demand
engage governments in conversation – share on TIP Report; how Tier system forces governments to respond
link between trafficking and poverty
give equal attention to labour and sex trafficking
make known stories of women and girls who have been trafficked to create public awareness
access trafficked women to gain trust
lobby for TIP to be a significant topic to be discussed at CSW57
have concrete national / international plan to combat TIP
identify contributing factors by countries – visit missions
information on trafficking – statistics etc
provide platform to learn about TIP (language, policies, terminology, guidelines etc) US to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child
baby trafficking, organ trafficking
make available country reports prior to CSW57

Reflections of a facilitator:

The participants of each conversation circle were

varied in age (from girls to adults)
had different depth of understanding / knowledge of Trafficking in Persons
those with knowledge of TIP had a variety of past experiences in their different capacities e.g. grassroots work, advocacy, legislature, education of youth etc working in government and non-profit sectors
those with zero or minimal prior knowledge shared about wanting to know more about TIP

These were common threads in the conversation circles:

awareness that violence against women and girls included trafficking of women and girls keen desire to share stories, express views
share best practices on prevention programmes, prosecution of traffickers (legislation/implementation of laws) and protection of victims including the provision of healthcare and social services

learn more about the issue of TIP
ready to network on a higher level
looking forward to issue of Trafficking in Women and Girls being given significant prominence at CSW57