Collateral Damage: The Impact of Anti-Trafficking Measures on Human Rights around the World

GAATW – Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (2007): Collateral Damage. The Impact of Anti-Trafficking Measures on Human Rights around the World.

Since a new UN convention on the issue of human trafficking was adopted in 2000, many hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on efforts to stop people being trafficked. While the intentions behind this spending appear good, the effects of the ways the money has been spent have, in many cases, been much less positive. Both human rights defenders and others have been concerned that some initiatives to stop trafficking have proved counter-productive for the very people they were supposed to benefit. Indeed, this concern was so strong that, as early as 2002, in a set of guidelines issued about human trafficking and human rights, the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights noted that a key principle for all anti-trafficking measures was that they “shall not adversely affect the human rights and dignity of persons, in particular the rights of those who have been trafficked, and of migrants, internally-displaced persons, refugees and asylum-seekers”.

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