Consultative Roundtable on ‘The Humanitarian Dimension and Victim Protection Aspects of Trafficking in Persons’
Date: 26–27 June 2014
Venue: Copthorne King’s Hotel
Organised by: RSIS Centre for NTS Studies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
By invitation only
|While effective law enforcement is crucial in combating human trafficking, ensuring that victims of trafficking in persons receive the necessary protection and care is also imperative.
Trafficking in Persons is a global phenomenon but its exact scale is difficult to quantify. TIP estimates range from the International Organization for Migration’s 800,000 people to the United States TIP Report’s 27 million people who were subjected to this crime in the last year alone. At the regional level, the Asia-Pacific has also been recognised “as a significant source of trafficking in persons”, due inter alia to high levels of irregular migration, its porous land borders and disparities in economic, employment and education opportunities.
Various states in the Asia-Pacific have taken a range of measures to provide appropriate protection and care to victims of trafficking in persons. A number of national and international organisations are also engaged in such efforts with the respective authorities. Although there are various regional instruments in the Asia-Pacific, such as the ASEAN Declaration on Transnational Crime, most are not legally binding and their operationalisation has been slow with many states often failing to live up to their obligations. Track II institutions are also developing policy recommendations to governments on issues related to trafficking in persons, including aspects concerning the protection and care of victims. At the same time, it is important to continue to constantly develop an understanding of the humanitarian/protection-related problems of trafficking in persons, in order to be able to respond in a more effective manner, where responses are holistic, promote human security and migrant rights.
Against this background, the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies is co-organising a Consultative Roundtable with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The roundtable aims to support/enhance the current regional efforts against trafficking in persons with a particular focuson the protection of the victims of trafficking. More specifically, the Roundtable aims to:
- enhance the collective understanding amongst the participants of the current issues related to the protection of victims of trafficking in persons in the region;
- share country experiences, approaches, lessons learned and best practices in response to the protection needs of victims;
- develop a better understanding of the roles of the various actors involved including governments, civil society organisations and international organisations among others;
- identify unmet needs in relation to the protection of victims and discuss possible responses;
- contribute to the regional thinking that will in turn influence national and/or regional policies with a focus on protection of victims of trafficking in persons.
Ideally, the Roundtable should be “solution-oriented” and will result in concrete ideas that can help practitioners and policymakers in the field of the protection of victims of trafficking. The roundtable will cover the following themes: the regional frameworks on the protection of victims of trafficking (the Bali Process, ASEAN and the OECD); the identification of victims of trafficking in Southeast Asia (smuggling and trafficking, problems and challenges, good practices); improving the response to the protection needs of victims of trafficking (persons trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labour, trafficking of children); durable solutions for victims of trafficking (challenges to repatriation and reintegration, solutions beyond repatriation) and; improving the response to the specific needs of victims of trafficking (best practices from Tier 1 countries). The roundtable also includes breakout sessions to facilitate the creation of a “check list” of the needs/responses/best practices concerning the identification and protection of victims of trafficking. These practices may then be considered by Government when developing victim protection strategies, as well as by other stakeholders. The roundtable also aims to have a way forward session on methods on carrying out the evaluation of protection policies and ensuring the transferability and replicability of best practices.
The Roundtable brings together experts, academics, practitioners and governments representatives involved in the protection of victims of trafficking.