Counter-Trafficking

IOM's Approach

While numbers of estimated victims of trafficking worldwide vary, they are reported as being in the millions and most importantly, they are constantly on the rise. Moreover, estimates often do not include individuals who are victims within the borders of their own countries.

Organized criminal groups are earning billions of dollars in profits from trafficking and exploiting people - many of whom are victims of severe human rights violations.

Trafficked persons are often victims to abuse such as rape, torture, debt bondage, unlawful confinement and threats against their family or other persons close to them, as well as other forms of physical, sexual and psychological violence.

The demand for cheap labour, sexual services and certain criminal activities are among the root causes of trafficking while a lack of opportunity, resources and social standing are other contributing factors.

Trafficking of persons shall mean:

“[T]he recruitment, transportation,transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of threat, use of force or other means of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the receiving or giving of payment… to a person having control over another person,for the purpose of exploitation.”
(Article 3 of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime)

 

At IOM, we operate from the outset that trafficking in persons needs to be approached within the overall context of managing migration. Our broad range of activities is implemented in partnership with governmental institutions, NGOs and international organizations. The approach is based on three principles that govern all our counter-trafficking activities:

• Respect for human rights

• Physical, mental and social well-being of the individual and his or her community

• Sustainability through institutional capacity building of governments and civil society

IOM has been working to counter the trafficking in persons since 1994. In this time, we have assisted approximately 70,000 trafficked persons. Our primary aims are to prevent trafficking in persons and to protect victims from the trade while offering them options of safe and sustainable reintegration and/or return to their home countries.