(Sponsored by Mexico and Indonesia)
THE 15TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ASIA-PACIFIC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM,
Noting that the trafficking in persons has expanded in an alarming pace during the last decades, in response to the economic asymmetry of countries, as well as the growing logistic and organizational sophistication of transnational criminal networks.
Realizing that inequality, corruption and impunity are factors that increase people’s vulnerability, especially women and children, and turn them into victims of traffickers that form part of organized crime groups that operate at both domestic and International organized crime.
Recognizing that the persistence of trafficking in persons also responds to its economic revenue, which ascends to $10 billion dollars annually, according to the United Nations reports.
Recalling the commitment of governments to improve the capacity to identify, investigate, judge and prosecute those responsible for trafficking in persons, especially women and children, and provide its victims with due assistance and protection in the framework of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punishing Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United
Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
Recognizing all parameters of trafficking as defined by the Palermo Protocol on Human Trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.
Noting that exploitation includes, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
Recognizing that all types of sexual or labor exploitation that imply forced labor or servitude for debts is unacceptable and constitutes a clear transgression of the international human rights regime, as well as the international labor norms.
Distinguishing that the victims, 80% of whom are women and 50% under 18 years of age, ascends to a total of 12 million people according to the International Labor Organization (ILO), who are trafficked and exploited in every region of the planet.
Observing that trafficking in persons contributes to the deepening of the criminalization of the world economy.
Stating that there is a serious risk that the trafficking in persons persists and increases unless the governments, parliaments and civil society of main countries of destination take a firmer political stance to face these problems.
Pointing out that, given the complexity of the trafficking in persons phenomenon, all the governmental efforts to prevent and combat this crime should confront every type of exploitation.
Call on the parliamentarians and governments of the Asia-Pacific region to:
1. Consider the signature, ratification or accession of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, and make use of its dispositions.
2. Implement legal reforms needed to give consistency to respective national juridical ordinances involving conduct related to human trafficking in order to fulfill our international obligations, acquired with the signing and ratification of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punishing Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
3. Prepare police and intelligence forces to act more effectively against criminal networks, specialized in trafficking in persons.
4. Foment the exchange of databases and/or intelligence reports on the criminal records of persons that have committed this type of crime according to what is established in bilateral and multilateral agreements on this issue.
5. Adopt protective measures for victims of trafficking in persons and prevent foreigners who fall victims of illicit trafficking from being subject to immediate deportation to their country of origin.
6. Promote mass campaigns in communication media, as well as regional conferences to create public consciousness of the trafficking in persons problem.