Strategies for Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women

Vienna, Austria, 29 April 2006


Trafficking in human beings is the most profitable business of transnational organised crime. Seven billion US dollars, much more than the selling of arms and drugs, are yielded. Victims of trafficking are sexually exploited, forced into slave or bonded labour, into marriages, or having organs forcefully removed. An estimated 700.000 women and girls are trafficked every year; half a million women are trafficked into EU member states alone every year.

International cooperation of the judiciary and the police has to be strengthened in order to fight organised crime. At the same time attempts have to be made to improve the economic situation of women in the countries of origin. Economic independence of women would ensure they are not easy prey for traffickers. Enhanced political and economic cooperation with the affected states is needed. Support and help for victims of trafficking in the countries of destination must be accelerated by implementing the relevant EU directive by 6 August 2006.

Socialist International Women therefore:

  • calls on international organisations to initiate cooperation with NGOs in order to draft international action plans serving as a guideline for binding legislation and international action and taking into account the recently adopted action plan of the Council of the European Union which should now be implemented;
  • calls on governments and international organisations to provide the necessary funds for the implementation of such action plans;
  • calls on its member organisations to initiate cooperation with other NGOs and government authorities in order to draft a National Action Plan, which will serve as guideline for binding legislation and institutionalised action;
  • stresses the need for a national coordinator to be appointed by the respective governments to be responsible for the development and implementation of the National Action Plan. The necessary legislative measures must be taken to equip the coordinator with ample logistic and political support of the relevant ministries;
  • demands that a national rapporteur be appointed who has the legal right to collect and evaluate data and information on trafficking in human beings. All relevant facts, data and other information shall be collected and presented to the parliament. This will constitute a move from reactive to proactive measures;
  • urges governments to grant women victims of trafficking a stabilisation period of 30 days during which they are not forced to give testimony and must be informed by the authorities of their rights and be covered by social security;
  • underlines that at the end of the stabilisation period those women who are prepared to cooperate with the authorities should be given a residence and work permit;
  • notes that measures must be taken for witness and victim protection programmes for those involved in lawsuits and during court proceedings. The name of the victim should not be made public to the accused or their lawyer, nor should the home address and location of witness protection facilities be mentioned at the time of the proceedings. The victim should be informed of the possibility of being questioned separately;
  • stresses that in criminal law the notion of aiding and abetting of trafficking must be extended and made a punishable offence;
  • calls for sentencing clients of victims who knowingly and intentionally exploit the predicament of a trafficked woman to either charitable work – definitely not in victim support institutions – or to a fine, which should be earmarked for such institutions;
  • calls for the presence of specially trained personnel during police and judicial questioning. To this end training of judges, prosecutors and police staff must be improved. Furthermore specially trained interpreters should be made available;
  • underlines that the dimension of the fight against trafficking of human beings and their sexual exploitation must be given greater attention and consideration. Support for those wishing to voluntarily return and re-integrate in their countries of origin must be provided as 80% of victims wish to return to their countries. This must be done in cooperation with local NGOs or authorities;
  • calls on governments to sign and ratify the UN Palermo Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

In conclusion Socialist International Women calls for relevant political measures beyond the judiciary to end violence, stop trafficking in human beings and simultaneously support the economic independence of women. Therefore, a widely publicised campaign against trafficking of women on national and European level is urgently needed.



Coucil Meeting

Geneva, Switzerland, 28 and 29 June 2018

For a World 50-50 in 2030 – The Great Challenges

Socialist International Women denounces brutal attacks on Palestinian demonstrators

17 May 2018

The Socialist International Women strongly denounces the use of lethal fire by Israeli military forces against Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza on Sunday 14 May 2018...

Connecting Rural Women – E-Development and Rural Women's Empowerment

16 March 2018

62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), United Nations, New York, from 12 to 23 March 2018

Side Event hosted by the Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the UN; the Mongolian People’s Party; Socialist International Women(SIW) and PES Women

Empowering Rural Women: Granting Universal Rights to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services

15 March 2018

62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), United Nations, New York, from 12 to 23 March 2018

Parallel Event hosted by the Socialist International Women (SIW), PES Women and Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)

International Women's Day Declaration

08 March 2018

In solidarity and recognition of the immense societal, economic and political achievements of women and girls worldwide Socialist International Women is proud to support International Women’s Day (IWD) 2018...

Statement on Unilateral Decision by the United States of America to Recognise Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

07 December 2017

The Socialist International Women (SIW) disapproves the decision of President Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the US embassy there from Tel Aviv...

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

25 November 2017

Socialist International Women affirms its support for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women as an opportunity to focus on the continuing suffering and oppression of women and girls worldwide, and the vital roles that governments and individuals have in creating positive change...

Council Meeting

Barcelona, Spain, 21 and 22 November 2017

Democracy in Crisis, Populism on the Rise - Where do Women's Rights fit in?

Council Meeting

United Nations, New York, 14 July 2017

Rural Areas, Media and ICT - New Challenges and More Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment

In Memory of Carmen Chacón

13 March 1971 - 09 April 2017

The Socialist International Women was deeply saddened to receive the news of the death of Carmen Chacón on 09 April 2017 at the age of 46 years...

Council Meeting and XXI Congress

25 - 27 February 2017

Gender Inequality in the World Today – Understanding the New Challenges and Ending Gender Inequality by 2030

UN Climate Change Conference 2016

Conference of the Parties (COP22), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Marrakech, Morroco, 07 to 18 November 2016

Parallel event hosted by the Socialist International Women (SIW), the Forum of the African Women Post 2015 and Jossour Forum of the Moroccan Women, Bab Ighli Site, Green Zone, 14 November 2016

Former SI President António Guterres to become next UN Secretary General

06 October 2016

The Socialist International Women (SIW) would like to congratulate António Guterres on being chosen as the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Council Meeting

28 and 29 June 2016

The UN Sustainable Development Goals – Gender Sensitive Budgeting and Climate Change


The First Hundred Years

A Short History of Socialist International Women

By Irmtraut Karlsson

This book tells the history of the first one hundred years of the Socialist International Women