Resolution on Combating Human Trafficking

APPF23 RES 06

23rd Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum
14 January 2015

Resolution on Combating Human Trafficking

APPF23/RES/06

(Sponsored by Canada)

Committed to the goals of peaceful development, prosperity, regional cooperation, constructive dialogue and mutual respect, and determined to safeguard the security, dignity and freedom of our peoples;

Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and its optional protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, as well as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action;

Further recalling the previous resolutions of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) on human trafficking, organized crime and corruption, poverty eradication, women’s empowerment and parliamentary regional cooperation;

Highlighting the crucial importance of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the
United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime;

Expressing concern that millions of women, children and men world-wide are forced to perform degrading, dehumanizing work in conditions akin to slavery;
Taking note that human trafficking occurs internationally and within national borders for a variety of purposes, including sexual exploitation, labour exploitation and organ trafficking;

Aware that the social, economic and other drivers of migration – including armed conflict, crises, disasters, weak governance, poverty, insecurity, corruption and
discrimination – also make people vulnerable to human trafficking;

Emphasizing the connection between human trafficking and other organized criminal activities;

Reiterating that trafficking impairs the enjoyment of victims’ human rights and exposes them to exploitation and violence from criminal networks;

Recognizing the need to provide birth registration and other relevant documents to lower individuals’ risk of being trafficked and to identify trafficked persons;

Mindful that the principle of the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration in all policies, actions and decisions affecting trafficked children;

Recognizing the important role of parliamentarians in raising awareness and in legislating to combat human trafficking;


RESOLVES TO:

1. Strongly urge APPF Member States that have not yet done so to consider ratifying the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, and urges all APPF Member States to use all necessary parliamentary means to ensure full compliance with this international protocols;

2. Call on APPF Member States to take the necessary measures to criminalize all forms of trafficking in domestic legislation, to fully implement relevant international standards, to impose effective and proportionate penalties on human traffickers, and to adopt measures to ensure the integrity and security of passports and other travel documents;

3. Ensure that trafficked children are treated in accordance with the best interests of the child;

4. Call on APPF Member States to collectively identify avenues for cooperation related to the detection, investigation and prosecution of human traffickers;

5. Draw attention to the emergence of new forms of exploitation in complex emergencies, including crises, disasters and armed conflict;

6. Develop integrated, timely and effective humanitarian responses at the national, regional and international levels to meet the immediate protection needs of populations vulnerable to trafficking in complex emergency situations;

7. Encourage APPF Member States, international and regional organizations, and the private sector to adopt policies aimed at preventing their operations and personnel from contributing to exploitative situations where goods are produced or services obtained through trafficking in persons;

8. Urge APPF Member States to undertake specialized training for law enforcement and border security personnel and to strengthen anti-trafficking enforcement, in order to improve the prevention, detection, disruption and dismantling of trafficking networks, while also encouraging increased criminal prosecutions of suspected traffickers;

9. Highlight the importance of building capacity within national judiciaries regarding the application of anti-trafficking legislation and appropriate procedures for victim protection and monitoring;

10. Encourage APPF Member States and parliaments to consider ways to improve existing legislative and policy frameworks to respond to the commission of human trafficking offences, as well as sexual exploitation and abuse, using the Internet and electronic communications;

11. Further urge APPF Member States to use financial enforcement mechanisms to combat human trafficking, including by improving the ability of anti-money-laundering authorities to identify financial activities associated with trafficking and strengthening the capacity of national mechanisms to trace, freeze and confiscate the proceeds of trafficking;

12. Call on APPF Member States to distinguish trafficked persons from the perpetrators of this offence, and from other migrants, to ensure that trafficked persons have access to appropriate and necessary assistance, that they are treated with dignity and full respect for their human rights;

13. Encourage APPF Member States and parliaments to consider ways to improve the support and protections available for trafficked persons during criminal prosecutions, and to take steps to provide for the safety of victims’ immediate family members, including through appropriate cooperation with foreign law enforcement agencies;

14. Encourage states to ensure that trafficked persons have access to housing, counselling and information about their legal rights, medical, psychological and material assistance, as well as employment, education and training opportunities, as required under international law, and regardless of their participation in any criminal prosecution;

15. Recommend that APPF Member States and parliaments support training programs for social workers, health care workers, labour inspectors, other government workers and community leaders who may come into contact with trafficked persons, and that APPF Members States encourage the public and private sectors to train personnel to identify and respond appropriately to suspected instances of human trafficking;

16. Request that APPF Member States take appropriate measures to permit trafficked persons to remain in their country of destination, temporarily or permanently, and, where appropriate, to assist them to return safely to their countries of origin;

17. Urge APPF Member States and parliaments to integrate age and gender-sensitive approaches into all anti-trafficking efforts, including by improving the collection of reliable data that is disaggregated by sex and by age, in order to facilitate the identification and analysis of the nature, extent and risk factors of trafficking;

18. Call on APPF Member States to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of women and girls, and in particular, to combat all forms of violence against women and girls, as well as child, early and forced marriage;

19. Encourage APPF Member States to engage with a broad range of groups and stakeholders in developing, examining and implementing anti-trafficking plans and policies, including women, indigenous peoples, minorities and other vulnerable groups, industry associations, labour organizations, community groups, and nongovernmental organizations that work with trafficked persons;

20. Enhance inter-parliamentary cooperation related to the implementation of international, regional and sub-regional commitments to combat human trafficking;

21. Call on APPF Member States to take all possible measures to combat modernday slavery.



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Resolution on Combating Human Trafficking

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