The OHCHR trafficking programme focuses on the integration of human rights into anti-trafficking initiatives at the legal, political and programme levels. Its anti-trafficking work is based on a dual strategy that addresses prevention by focusing on root economic and social causes that create vulnerability, and reinforcing victim assistance and protection.
OHCHR is guided in its anti-trafficking work by two fundamental considerations: human rights must be at the core of any credible anti-trafficking strategy; and anti-trafficking initiatives must not in any way adversely affect the rights of trafficked persons, or those vulnerable to trafficking.
Case example OHCHR
Since 1999, OHCHR has been carrying out an anti-trafficking programme entitled Eliminating Trafficking and Protecting the Rights of Trafficked Persons under its Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation and in the Field of Human Rights. Through bi-annual resolutions on trafficking by the Commission on Human Rights, OHCHR is mandated to address human trafficking at the international, regional and national levels.
In developing detailed human rights-based responses to each stage of the trafficking cycle, OHCHR's Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking issued in July 2002, serves as a framework document.
Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in persons, especially women and children
Ms. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo (Nigeria) is the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in persons, especially women and children since 2008.
In the discharge of his/her mandate, the Special Rapporteur:
a) Takes action on violations committed against trafficked persons and on situations in which there has been a failure to protect their human rights (See Individual complaints)
b) Undertakes country visits in order to study the situation in situ and formulate recommendations to prevent and or combat trafficking and protect the human rights of its victims in specific countries and/or regions
c) Submits annual reports on the activities of the mandate
During her mandate Ms. Ezeilo has undertaken visits to:
Dakar (4-5 October 2010)
Slovakia (22-23 November 2010)
Egypt (11-21 April 2010)
Japan (12-17 July 2009)
Reports of the Special Rapporteur since 2008:
Reports to the General Assembly
Reports to the Human Rights Council (HRC) / Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, its causes and consequences
Ms. Gulnara Shahinian is the first Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, its causes and consequences. She has been appointed in May 2008.
Article 4 of the UDHR states that 'No one shall be held in slavery or servitude: slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms'.
The majority of those who suffer are the poorest, most vulnerable and marginalised social groups in society. Fear, ignorance of one's rights and the need to survive do not encourage them to speak out.
In order to effectively eradicate slavery in all its forms, the root causes of slavery such as poverty, social exclusion and all forms of discrimination must be addressed. In addition, we need to promote and protect the rights of all especially the most vulnerable in our society. Where human rights violations have already been committed, we are called upon to help restore the dignity of victims.
During her mandate Ms. Shahinian has undertaken visits to:
Brazil (17-28 May 2010)
Report in English.
Ecuador (25 January -1 February 2010)
Mauritania (24 October - 4 November 2009)
Haiti (1-10 June 2009)
Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography
Ms. Najat M'jid Maalla is Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, its causes and consequences. She has been appointed in May 2008.
Convention is now ratified by 193 States. In May 2000, the General Assembly adopted and opened for signature an Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; the Protocol, which has now been ratified by 126 states, entered into force in January 2002.
In its resolution, the Human Rights Council mandates the Special Rapporteur, in particular through visits and exchange of communications with Governments, to, inter alia:
- analyse the root causes of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;
- identify new patterns of sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;
- identify, exchange and promote best practices on measures to combat the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;
- continue efforts to promote comprehensive strategies and measures on the prevention of sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;
- make recommendations on the promotion and protection of human rights of children actual or potential victims of sale, prostitution and pornography, as well as on the aspects related to the rehabilitation of child victims of sexual exploitation.
Annual report to the General Assembly (2010).
During her mandate Ms. Najat M'jid Maalla has undertaken visits to:
United States of America (12-27 October 2010)
Estonia (20-24 October 2008)
Latvia (25-31 October 2008)