Human trafficking has become a serious transnational threat, threatening the security of not only the individual victims but entire communities as well. Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODOC) defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
The most common victims of human trafficking are women and children from poor, rural areas in developing countries. Non-Aligned Movement, which is the largest collective voice of the developing nations of the world, has expressed serious concerns over the issue of human trafficking.
NAM has recognised that trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants continue to pose a serious challenge to humanity and require concerted international response, based on cooperation and sharing of information, as appropriate. The Heads of State or Government of NAM Member States have also recognized the importance of cooperation and responsibility sharing among countries of origin, transit, and destination in addressing the problem of smuggling of migrants, as appropriate; and to that end, urged all States to devise, enforce and strengthen effective measures to prevent, combat and eliminate all forms of trafficking in persons to counter the demand for trafficked victims and to protect the victims, in particular women and children subjected to forced labour, or sexual or commercial exploitation, violence and sexual abuse.
NAM Member States have undertaken a series of measures to combat the threat of human trafficking. A few initiatives are mentioned below.
In South Asia, Bangladesh has a comprehensive law on TIP and a National Plan of Action to address all aspects of TIP and Cross Border Trafficking (CBT). The government has prioritized the training and sensitization of public prosecutors and law enforcement. A government-led Central Trafficking Committee is also in place with inter-ministerial presence and participation. India has implemented International Conventions on Trafficking.
India has ratified the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime (UNCTOC) which has as one of its Protocols Prevention, Suppression and Punishment of Trafficking in Persons, particularly Women and Children. For dealing with cross border trafficking and to address the various issues relating to prevention of Trafficking, victim identification and repatriation and make the process speedy and victim-friendly between India and Bangladesh, a Task Force of India and Bangladesh has been constituted.
In North Africa, Algeria is a transit and destination country for thousands of men, women and children originating from sub-Saharan African countries and wishing to reach Europe or the Middle East. . Algeria prohibits all forms of trafficking under Section 5 of its criminal code, enacted in March 2009. Prescribed penalties under this statute range from three to 10 years’ imprisonment.
Another Northern African country Morocco has demonstrated increasing efforts by enacting a new anti-trafficking law prohibiting all forms of trafficking and establishing an inter-ministerial anti-trafficking commission. It also worked to reduce vulnerability to trafficking by enacting a new law limiting child domestic work and by extending legal protections and social services to irregular migrants.
Morocco has cracked down on human trafficking and illegal immigrants to the country by dismantling 80 human trafficking networks and foiling 50,000 illegal immigration attempts in 2017.
NAM Member States are actively engaged in combating the menace of human trafficking through devising effective anti-trafficking strategies and also through cooperation with the Border States.