19th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum
23-27 January 2011
Resolution on Cooperation on Human Trafficking
(Sponsored by Mexico)
THE NINETEENTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ASIA-PACIFIC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM:
Reaffirming previous resolutions regarding human trafficking adopted within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF);
Acknowledging that human trafficking in the Asia-Pacific region affects 3 individuals out of every 1,000 inhabitants and estimating that over 9 million people are the victims of traditional and new forms of forced labor in the countries;
Emphasizing the existence of a form of modern slavery that transcends boundaries and cannot be fought without joint action among APPF member States through an exchange of information and mutual assistance in accordance with the principles of international law and existing international instruments;
Stating that strengthening international cooperation will allow to fight international criminal organizations, thus safeguarding the safety and dignity of individuals;
Considering that the United Nations Convention Against Trans-National Organized Crime and the Protocol to Prevent, Fight and Punish Human Trafficking, especially that of Women and Children, represent a point of reference in international efforts to fight against human trafficking;
Aware of the need of cooperation between governments and civil society in order to identify victims of this crime and to punish those traffickers that enslave them;
Emphasizing that the fight against this scourge requires the expertise, resources and efforts of several governmental agencies, as well as a comprehensive response from both governments and citizens of the Asia-Pacific region;
Acknowledging that victims of the so-called contemporary slave trade have different faces and that victims are mainly women and children who are sexually exploited or become a source of cheap labor;
Taking into account that in some countries a paradigm continues to be prevalent that prevents progress in fighting human trafficking because it still focuses on detention and deportation;
Highlighting that in several countries there are goods produced through exploitation of children in violation of international instruments;
Emphasizing that the pursuit of economic gain through the use of forced labor and the exploitation of child labor is inadmissible;
Acknowledging that in some countries summary deportations are carried out as a consequence of rigid migration controls that ignore the basic principles of protecting the victims of any kind of exploitation;
Convinced of the central role that parliaments have in the prevention of terrorism and in achieving domestic advances in legislation for the purpose of preventing and fighting terrorism;
- Ask the parliaments of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum to strengthen their justice systems for the purpose of making their actions more efficient, promoting the training of officers, prosecutors and judges, as well as the use of standards and procedures that guarantee the physical safety and the privacy of victims of human trafficking.
- Ask the governments in the Asia-Pacific region to improve the communication, information and dissemination systems for the purpose of increasing public awareness and to inform of situations that may favor the exploitation of persons.
- Promote the adoption of policies based on the principles of prevention, protection, processing as well as the inclusion of civilian society in designing and evaluating said policies.
- Request APPF member States to punish those actions that favor the labor exploitation of people, such as the withholding of workers’ official documents.
- Encourage the parliamentarians to improve the legal frameworks taking into account international standards, classifying human trafficking as a crime in all its forms and manifestations and acknowledging that individuals who are the object of trafficking are victims whose human rights must be protected.
- Encourage the governments and parliaments of the region to incorporate gender questions in all policies, laws and regulations dealing with human trafficking.
- Request the parliamentarians to enact laws that contemplate the principle of non-criminalization of trafficking victims and incorporate areas such as human rights, migration, health, labor law and criminal law so as to have a wide legal framework to tackle this phenomenon.
- Call upon APPF member States to guarantee the rights, needs and vulnerabilities of children who are victims of trafficking providing with the additional protection they need.
- Strengthen the international cooperation systems mainly for the purpose of sharing intelligence information regarding human trafficking and coordinate institutional efforts at the regional level.
- Call upon the governments to strengthen cooperation links with the private sector so as to prevent labor exploitation at all levels of productive chains.
- Carry out actions ensuring consideration of the best interests of victims be they domestic or immigrant, provide victims with assistance so that their civil and psychological damages can be repaired granting them a sojourn period with employment in their country of destination or if applicable to be taken to a third country.
- Call upon the governments to implement migration controls based on the policies developed for the purpose of fighting human trafficking, as well as to implement programs to avoid the deportation of immigrants requiring some kind of protection or who evidence signs of having been the object of exploitation or human trafficking.
- Call upon APPF member States to strengthen efforts for the purpose of identifying, recording and providing shelter for children who are the victims of human trafficking and in general improve the protection and assistance services to victims of this scourge.
- Promote an exchange of standardized information between the APPF governmental and non-governmental organizations so as to include data concerning the crime prevalence, its geographic distribution and the forms it most commonly adopts.
- Recommend the creation of parliamentary committees in each of the APPF parliaments concerning human trafficking in charge of supervising and orienting government policy as well as assigning the funds necessary to implement and evaluate said programs.