Human trafficking

Trafficking in humans, as defined by the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, is "the recruitment, transportation, transfer or reception of humans by means of threats, force, kidnapping, deception, coercion, abuse of power and payment for the purpose of receiving money or privileges so that one person gains control over another person for subsequent exploitation".

Conventions against human trafficking

Human trafficking is a growing problem and a crime with devastating consequences involving multi-dimensional problems, encompassing aspects of migration, human rights, gender equality, and transnational organized crime. The United Nations has addressed the issue coordinating international responses to human trafficking by adopting instruments against various forms of transnational organized crime:

Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons

The Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, adopted in 1949, was the first United Nations treaty against human trafficking.

Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Article 8 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted in 1966, and entered into force in 1976, prohibits all forms of slavery, slave-trade and compulsory labour. The Human Rights Committeeis a body of independent experts that monitors its implementation.

Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, adopted in 1979 supplements the Convention against Trafficking in Persons. Its monitoring body is the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, CEDAW.

Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention

The Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention was adopted by the International Labour Organization in 1999 as Convention no 182.

Convention against Transnational Organized Crime

The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime from 2003, is the first legally binding United Nations treaty to fight organized crime and, as such, it is a powerful global instrument.

Three Special Rapporteurs

In the 90s and the 00s, three Special Rapporteurs were appointed by the Commission on Human Rights to examine, monitor and report on human trafficking worldwide. The Special Rapporteurs presents their annual reports to the Human Rights Council:

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has also established several programs and projects to support Member States in their efforts to combat trafficking in human beings.

See also DagDok : UNODC.

More on UN and human trafficking

  • The website of Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, Human Rights Bodies provides full text conventions, declarations and reports.
  • International standards. An overview of the United Nations instruments against human trafficking.
  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC):
    • UNODC on human trafficking and migrant smuggling provides information on projects and programs against trafficking and full text documents and reports.
    • UNODC Human Trafficking Case Law Database provides access to information on victims' and perpetrators' nationalities, trafficking routes, verdicts and other documents related to prosecuted cases from across the world. The database aims to assist judges, prosecutors, policy-makers, media researchers and other interested parties by making available details of real cases with examples of how the respective national laws in place can be used to prosecute human trafficking.
  • Trafficking of Women. The UN web portal on women's rights WomenWatch contains information on with links to relevant entities and bodies with full text documents and reports.
  • UN Women and 'trafficking'.
  • UN Pulse #humantrafficking. Dag Hammarskjöld library's blog with links to relevant documents and sources.
  • NORMLEX ILO conventions

Human Rights, conventions and declaration

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library offers UN documents and open access publications, UN voting data and speeches, UN maps, Content in 6+ languages. Replaces the traditional online catalogue UNBISnet.
  • UN iLibrary UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS full-text UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
  • Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
  • Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
    • a list of all documents
    • a comprehensive subject index
    • an index to speeches
    • a voting chart of resolutions
  • United Nations Documents Index (United Nations Digital Library) References to all documents by subject area are published. A collection of indexes is held by the Dag Hammarskjöld and Law Library, Uppsala, and the Libraries at UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva.