Looking at the past to understand the future. Part one

The first Constructive Dialogue on Trafficking in Persons was convened on Friday 1 July 2022, following the conclusion of the twelfth session of the Working Group on Trafficking in Persons, in accordance with paragraph 53 of the Procedures and rules for the functioning of the UNTOC review mechanism. 

The constructive dialogue was attended by sixty Non-Governmental Organisations and eleven other relevant stakeholders (nine from the academia and two from the private sector). 

As highlighted by the summary of the Chair, the statements of panellist and speakers mainly focused on the following topics:  

  • The need for a more effective criminalization of the perpetrators of trafficking in persons worldwide by establishing and implementing solid legal frameworks; 
  • Develop knowledge of the cyber domain to allow for more effective responses to trafficking in persons (particularly child trafficking), improving security standards in cyberspace and digital service; 
  • Provide adequate criminal justice responses to victims who have been coerced into committing crimes because of their trafficking; 
  • States Parties need to improve partnerships and cooperation through the importance of holistic multidisciplinary and community-based approaches to comprehensive and long-term assistance for the reintegration of trafficked persons and their protection ⇒ involving civil society organisations in the training of law enforcement practitioners; 
  • The existence of a strong connection between trafficking and corruption, and the importance of addressing this issue; States should more systematically involve civil society organisations in completing the self-assessment questionnaires for the UNTOC Review Mechanism, providing data, knowledge and expertise to support governments' efforts to combat transnational organised crime;  
  • To protect trafficked persons and prevent re-victimisation, a victim-centred, trauma-informed and human rights-compliant approach should be further promoted, with the possibility for migrant victims to return home voluntarily and to obtain assistance ⇒ Victims should always receive support, regardless of their willingness to cooperate in criminal investigations; 
  • Community-based programmes should be promoted to establish secure communication channels between law enforcement, civil society organisations, and communities 
  • Assistance provided to children and women should be targeted, giving priority to the psychological impact trafficking has on victims, such as the trauma they experience. 

The second constructive dialogue on the review process following the conclusion of the thirteenth session of the Working Group on Trafficking in Persons will take place on Wednesday 4 October 2023, with a specific focus on three agenda items:  

  1. Role of civil society in the universalization and implementation of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children; 
  1. States Parties’ technical assistance needs and related civil society engagement/participation; 
  1. Gender, human rights, and victim-centred approaches to countering organized crime, in particular trafficking in persons. 


02 Oct, 2023