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Our Position on The Trafficking of Women and Girls

GS trafficking.jpg1. Human Trafficking is a growing global criminal industry that defies human rights and affronts human dignity. It is a violence based on recruiting, harboring, coercing, deceiving, and/or transporting people solely for the purpose of exploitation, most often labor and/or sexual exploitation. According to UN figures, up to 80 percent of persons trafficked are women and children; girl children and adolescents are of special concern.

2. Trafficking is an injustice rooted in dynamics of our global world and current global economy. Structures and systems that intensify social inequality, support patriarchal power, prioritize economic profit above the value of the human person, and diminish the value of social relationships render untold women and children vulnerable to being trafficked for labor, human organ harvesting, surrogate pregnancy, and/or sexual exploitation. Trafficking is congruent with all forms of gender discrimination and gender-based violence, including the industries and governments that sustain prostitution and pornography. OLCGS stands with all persons who condemn this phenomenon and work to eradicate it and its systemic roots. 

3. Our first response is to express solidarity with those who have suffered victimization through this repulsive crime. Second, as we listen to the experiences of persons who have been trafficked, we develop holistic programs to respond to needs. We are especially active in areas of prevention and protection. Our programs support personal advancement toward defined goals and positive outcomes as each person, at their own pace, moves toward reintegration with families and/or society. We support trauma healing and self-empowerment through supportive social relationships, personal growth opportunities, and employable skills leading to secure income. Third, we continually increase our capacity to understand the persistent and complex dynamics of trafficking. Our programs, with an underpinning of spiritual values, are rooted in professional knowledge and best practices. To ensure attention to and effective outcomes in all areas - personal, social, judicial, systemic and structural - we are active partners with governmental and non-governmental groups.

4. We take responsibility to participate in effective advocacy for the implementation of human rights based legislation in national and local governments as well as at regional, international and UN levels. We support policies that will prevent and eradicate trafficking in women and girls by addressing gender discrimination, economic injustice, violence against women, criminal impunity, and government corruption. We raise our voice in favor of policies and adequately funded programs that support families and ameliorate the chronic socio-economic, political and legal disadvantages of women and girls. We urge States to assume their responsibility to protect persons who have been trafficked, prosecute traffickers, and censure pornography and the male demand for prostituted sex. 

5. The phenomenon of trafficking converges with current global flows of migration, patterns of armed conflict and war, climate induced displacement and economic supply chains of consumer goods. In all our work, we seek to analyze and address root causes, examining and unmasking links between trafficking and polices of economic injustice, violence against women, discrimination of the girl child, militarization, inadequate migration support, and the social acceptance of the prostitution of women and girls. We encourage participation and leadership in networks and/or campaigns that support an end to trafficking and promote full empowerment of women and girls in all spheres of activity.

6. In responding to Trafficking, it is critical to:

a. Ensure updated anti-trafficking training in all formation and professional development within our ministries.

b. Develop program and service capacity to welcome those who have been trafficked into environments that offer access to the full range of required services, including legal services, and provide genuine opportunities for participation, growth, and self-sufficiency. Amplify our voice through participation in local advocacy networks, analysis of legal and social issues, and collaboration with the NGO work of the GSIJPO.

c. Do strategic program planning that encompasses clarity of goals for aspects of anti-trafficking work such as prevention, protection, reintegration, etc.  Awareness of intersectional issues such as adequate legal structures, economic justice, and support for adequate migration policies is crucial in strategic planning.

d. Integrate the objectives of the UN SDGs 5, 5.2, 8, 8.7, and 16.2 in strategic planning to end trafficking. Participate in local and international campaigns supporting these goals.

e. Contribute to public policy formation through education, participation and leadership at regional and international conferences and campaigns, articulating OLCGS's position on gender equality, including the harm of pornography and prostitution. Contribute national data to the US State Department annual Trafficking in Persons report (TIP.)

f. Support legislation effective in anti-trafficking and speak in favor of effective local and international anti-trafficking efforts, including appropriate visas for victims; join networks to support criminal prosecution of perpetrators of trafficking.

g. Use international human rights tools for education and national and international human rights reporting through the OLCGS NGO Office in Geneva:

•    The 1949 UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others.

•    The 2000 UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children of the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (also known as the Palermo Protocol.)

•    The United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.  (Currently 2017, periodically updated)

•    The CEDAW and the CRC with Its Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child pornography.