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Human Trafficking 101: What I've been working on


Ashley Allen




As the summer has faded into autumn, so have I settled into my internship at UN.GIFT. Each day brings new challenges and tasks, and if I need guidance or assistance, which I often do, the UN.GIFT team is accessible and ready to help. Each member of the team brings expert knowledge in the areas of information technology, administration, human trafficking, and project management and implementation to UN.GIFT. As I participate in team meetings, I can see that this is how a productive and well organized team works together.


So, here are some of the things that I have been working on lately.


I helped to edit the written text that will be used with the photos of a human trafficking exhibit. I wrote thank you and congratulatory letters and helped with an excel spreadsheet. For a larger project over a two month period, I have started researching UN.GIFT's joint programmes in Serbia, Pakistan, Argentina/Bolivia, Rwanda/Burundi, Central Asia and Egypt.


For the virtual knowledge hub (i.e. this website), I constructed two news articles on the " Buy Responsibly" campaign and UN.GIFT's small grants facility programme; I am designing a new brochure that highlights the hub; and I continue to contact organizations around the world informing them about the hub and encouraging them to participate.


Any extra time that I have, I use to learn more about human trafficking: scanning the latest news stories; studying research reports and publications; learning about art projects and events; listening to songs and sound bites; and watching videos.


Extensive preparations have been underway around the office for the fifth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols, which will take place at the United Nations in Vienna on 18 - 22 October 2010. The Convention against Transnational Organized Crime adopted by the General Assembly on 15 November  2000 is an international instrument in the fight against transnational organized crime.


One of three supplementary instruments to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children offered the first internationally agreed definition of human trafficking. To date, 140 out of  the 192 United Nations Member States have signed the Protocol.


The Swedish Institute recently published the report Targeting the Sex Buyer. The Swedish Example: Stopping Prostitution and Trafficking Where It all Begins by Kajsa Claude. The discourse in this report focuses on Sweden's approach of criminalizing the sex buyer and launching a National Plan of Action on prostitution and human trafficking for sexual purposes. The report is available in several languages.



Ashley Allen started her internship with UN.GIFT in September 2010. She is a student at the University of Stavanger in Norway and permanently resides in Norway. She is working on a Master's in Migration and Intercultural Relations and recently attended the 2010 International Summer School in Forced Migration at the University of Oxford, and conducted research on protracted refugee situations at the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford.

The Intern's blog section is an open space for discussions on human trafficking offered by the UN.GIFT.HUB.

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