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Combating Trafficking in South-East Asia

A Review of Policy and Programme Responses

image of Combating Trafficking in South-East Asia

At least two hundred thousand women and children from South-East Asia are trafficked annually. This figure represents nearly one third of the global trafficking trade. This study reviews what is known about trafficking in the region and provides a thorough overview of the viewpoints that have been developed within South-East Asia. It also discusses problems faced in the fight against trafficking and highlights priority areas for the development and implementation of counter trafficking programmes and initiatives.

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International instruments

The issue of trafficking has received increasing international attention during the past two decades. This is especially reflected in the statements and conventions produced by international organizations, networks and bodies. The United Nations’ concern with the issue of trafficking has a long history and proceeds through various bodies and commissions. Several initiatives to counter trafficking have been developed under the auspices of the General Assembly and the functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council. Furthermore, special rapporteurs have been appointed to address the issue of trafficking in human beings and the exploitation of prostitution of others, violence against women and its causes and consequences, the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (CICP/UNODCCP, 1999). The various international instruments and plans of action developed by the United Nations function as important tools urging governments to accept their responsibility in the fight against trafficking and to develop appropriate responses. To what extent these instruments are in force and binding for individual countries depends on the conditions set by the instrument itself and whether it was ratified at all by the concerned countries. Below follow some important international conventions, declaration and other instruments directly or indirectly addressing the issue of trafficking in human beings, and the state of ratification by countries in South-East Asia.

English

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