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26.02.201309:10
Источник изображения: ИА "Авеста"

Пресс-релиз посольства Республики Беларусь

Статья Министра иностранных дел Республики Беларусь Владимира Макея в издании "The Journal of International Affairs” (США, Нью-Йорк), на английском языке

Статья Министра иностранных дел Республики Беларусь Владимира Макеяпод названием «Торговля людьми в период после окончания «холодной» войны: к всеобъемлющему подходу»в американском внешнеполитическом издании«The Journal of International Affairs»посвящена анализу процесса эволюции усилий международного сообщества по борьбе с торговлей людьми со времени окончания «холодной» войны. Автор статьи описывает характерные для этого периода тенденции и действия в контексте противодействия торговле людьми, которые в целом позволили международному сообществу постепенно двигаться к более целенаправленным и всеобъемлющим усилиям в этой области. Статья акцентирует внимание на центральной роли инициированных Беларусью резолюций Генеральной Ассамблеи ООН, Глобального плана действий по борьбе с торговлей людьми, принятого Генассамблеей ООН в июле 2010 г., а также заседания высокого уровня по оценке хода реализации Глобального плана, запланированного на 13 мая 2013 г. Факт публикации статьи известным американским внешнеполитическим изданием свидетельствует об актуальности данной темы.

Human Trafficking in the Post-Cold War Period: Towards a Comprehensive Approach

Vladimir Makei

Trafficking in persons represents a serious crime, although one that is not yet fully explored. Notwithstanding, what is known about it makes one wonder how this modern-day slavery could acquire such immense proportions. The international community has progressed a long way over the past two decades in understanding and tackling the crime of human trafficking. Throughout the 1990s, it was primarily viewed as, and often confused with, illegal migration. The UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime with its Protocols adopted in 2000 successfully addressed this distinction and inaugurated a specific approach to fighting trafficking in persons. Yet, as the levels of trafficking continued to rise, that paradigm developed in the 2000 convention and protocols was increasingly questioned. The 2008 Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking developed momentum for a comprehensive approach against the crime. This effort led to the adoption—by the UN General Assembly—of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons in 2010.

01/29/2013

Contemporary Human Trafficking: Extent of the Challenge

Human trafficking has an elaborate internationally agreed definition that is contained in the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children—also known as the Human Trafficking Protocol—that supplements the 2000 UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.The very complexity of the definition would indicate that the international community knows much about human trafficking. This, however, is not the case. This section will explore what we really know about the issue.

Various studies by international organizations and individual states furnish statistics on numbers of trafficking victims that significantly differ from each other. For example, the 2012 Global Estimate of Forced Labour by the International Labour Organization (ILO) put the total number victims at 20.9 million.[ii][iii][iv]

Breaking down human trafficking by purpose reveals that public’s primary concern has traditionally been with the trafficking for sexual exploitation. This form was estimated to account for the lion’s share of total trafficking figures—up to 80 percent or more.However, recent years have seen increasing realization that the trafficking for the purposes of labor exploitation might be far higher in magnitude than previously thought.[vi]

In particular, the ILO makes this point clear in its own studies. Hence, in its 2012 Global Estimate of Forced Labour, the ILO estimates that of the total figure of 20.9 million victims, 14.2 million are victims of forced labor exploitation—68 percent—whereas 4.5 million—22 percent—are victims of sexual exploitation. The remaining 2.2 million—10 percent—are victims of other forms of trafficking-related exploitation.[vii][viii]

In geographical context, the 2006 UNODC report identified the following global patterns; Western Europe and North America were the main destinations for trafficked persons, with Asia also featuring to some extent as a destination. The regions of Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia were the countries of origin for victims. With that, Asia is estimated to generally account for more than half of all human trafficking cases—origin and destination.[ix]

When it comes to profits, trafficking in persons is widely viewed as the world’s third largest illegal activity after the illegal trafficking of arms and of drugs. Incomes from human trafficking, by some estimates, vary from $7 billion to $32 billion a year.

The lack of credible and sufficient data on human trafficking can be attributed to several factors. First and foremost, we should realize that it is a very clandestine activity, and the traffickers go to great lengths to keep it that way. Thus, it is hardly surprising that we do not know everything about this crime. Moreover, not all countries have enacted appropriate human trafficking legislation that allows for effective action and proper reporting. Indicative of this is UNODC’s finding that two out of five countries surveyed in its 2009 report—155 countries were surveyed—failed to report at least a single conviction related to human trafficking.

What is most worrisome is that levels of human trafficking appear to be persistently rising. Judging by the ILO’s recent study, the number of victims of forced labor has increased from 12.3 million in 2005 to 20.9 million in 2012.

Indeed, a number of international instruments adopted over the first three decades of the 20thcentury attest to the world’s attention to preventing illicit human trafficking: the 1904 International Agreement for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic, the 1910 International Convention for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic, the 1921 International Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic of Women and Children, and the 1933 International Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Women of Full Age.While the Cold War period did not give substantial attention to the topic of trafficking, there were several gender-related events that raised awareness about trafficking in general. The proclamation of the Decade for Women in 1975 was as a catalyst of such efforts.The end of bipolar rivalry triggered the opening of borders. Consequently, the international community came to realize the importance of addressing transnational threats. While the opening of the borders was one factor that enabled transnational threats, another was associated with advances in information and communication technologies, above all the Internet and mobile phones, which made the work for traffickers, drug dealers, and terrorists much easier than used to be in the past. For example, the Internet considerably helps facilitate recruitment for some activities related to migration, such as work in model agencies, which on surface appears to be legitimate. Yet candidates who respond to such advertisements may in fact be misled about the true purpose of their prospective enterprise and instead end up abroad as forced laborers.

Indeed, despite apparent similarities, there are significant differences between the two types of crimes. First, illegal migration is a clear crime against the state, the borders of which a migrant illegally crosses. Whereas trafficking in humans is a crime against an individual, who becomes the object of exploitation. Second, illegal migration is about a voluntary act by an individual to cross the border of another state. Trafficking in persons may look like a voluntary act at some stages.Such an understanding was reflected in two separate Protocols—covering trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants—adopted by the UN General Assembly as part of the 2000 UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime—also known as the Palermo Convention and Protocols.

Despite the successes of the Protocol, it can also reasonably be held that it failed to cover all possible angles of the crime. On the surface, the Protocol may seem to be concerned with all the three Ps. In reality, it favors one prosecution more than prevention and protection. The Protocol’s drafters appear to have ushered an approach that could be described as a law and order paradigm. They created a strong law-enforcement tool with comparatively weaker language on preventive and protective measures. Indeed, the prosecution provisions in the Human Trafficking Protocol contain mandatory language, such as "states parties shall,” while the protections and assistance provisions soften the language to terms such as "in appropriate cases” and "to the extent possible.”

Another concern with the protocols—on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants—relates to the problem of victim identification. Since neither protocol provides guidance with regards to identifying smuggled versus trafficked persons, their identification became the prerogative of individual countries. This created ambiguity, because it is often quite hard to clearly identify whether an individual is the victim of trafficking or of illegal migration. What matters is that the outcomes from the identification are different. If the case falls within human trafficking, the victim is entitled to protection. If, however, the case is identified as illegal migration, states are expected to facilitate the return of victims to the countries of their permanent residence..

Two main factors seem to explain why the international community opted for a law and order paradigm against trafficking in persons. First, the Palermo Convention and Protocols were drafted by criminal justice experts, whose primary experience involved prosecution of crimes.The crucial question then becomes whether the security-based paradigm to address human trafficking would yield positive results.

The Palermo Convention with its Protocols came into effect in 2003.Naturally, the report’s findings provided a boost to further research on, and action against, trafficking in persons. Many countries in the UN started asking what was to be done to speed up the implementation of the Protocol, which as of 2006 was very far from being a universally ratified tool.The international community was thus poised to explore ideas for enhanced international coordination on human trafficking. On 20 October 2006, the UN General Assembly adopted a Belarus-sponsored resolution titled "Improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons.” The resolution’s key value was to empower the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT), consisting of seventeen international agencies, which was established only a month earlier at a meeting in Tokyo. This move enabled the UN agencies involved in the fight against trafficking in persons to organize regular exchanges of information and effective coordination of their activities.

Indeed, tightened border controls certainly made it more difficult for individuals willing to illegally cross borders in search of a better life abroad to get to a destination point. But these measures fail to address the reasons that force people to migrate illegally. Moreover, the law and order approach, perhaps inadvertently, might have enhanced the role of traffickers and smugglers. Indeed, faced with the restricted legal migration opportunities, such determined "fortune seekers” had no option but to ask the assistance of criminal groups.

This understanding—with regard to the Protocol—might have stood behind some regional anti-trafficking initiatives, which attempted to cover the Protocol’s purported deficiencies. In particular, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) adopted the 2003 Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings that ostensibly treated equally all aspects of the Protocol: prevention, prosecution, and protection.Furthermore, in 2005, the Council of Europe adopted the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, which, by contrast, provided a pronounced focus on the third P, which is protection of victims.

The Vienna Forum did not aim to produce an outcome document. Perhaps it was not possible among so many different participants. Its purpose rather was to begin shaping a global partnership against trafficking in persons, which was to include in its ranks all the aforementioned players. Belarus had previously come up withidea of a Global Partnership against Slavery and Trafficking in Human Beings which was articulated from the UN rostrum in 2005.

The Vienna Forum ended with the closing remarks by UNODC Executive Director Costa, in which the latter urged the UN.GIFT team to "help the General Assembly prepare its own comprehensive strategy for the following year.”The rationale for such a tool was thoroughly articulated in a few post-forum publications by some top Belarus’ diplomats.Normatively,a comprehensive document on human trafficking would be one that put an equal emphasis on each of the three Ps. There was reason to believe that an international antitrafficking tool elaborated under the auspices of a specialized agency was imbued with a preference for advancing a specific aspect that fell under the mandate of such an agency. Thus, all the above tools essentially became "specialized.” Therefore, it seemed prudent to draft a new comprehensive document at the UN General Assembly, lest biases prevail again.

So, the overall context became so compelling as to make the president of the UN General Assembly’s sixty-third session appoint two co-facilitators on a Global Plan of Action in the end of 2009. Soon after that, there occurred another important development that was essential to bringing the work on the Global Plan to fruition. Namely, in March 2010—at the initiative of Belarus—there emerged in New York the Group of Friends United against Trafficking in Persons that comprised twenty UN Member States.[xxvi]

According to article 3 (a) of the Human Trafficking Protocol "Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring 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 labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs”.

Anti-Trafficking Assistance Unit, "From Policy to Practice: Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in the OSCE Region” (Annual Report, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Vienna: 2006), 7; Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, 6.

[xxvi]Later, Singapore and Laos joined the Group.

Источник: ИА "Авеста"
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