6. Prevention of Trafficking
Trafficking is a complex problem that requires a multifaceted approach.
Frequently, anti-trafficking initiatives at the state level have focused
on legal reform and prosecution. As the Organization of Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) points out, however, "effective anti-trafficking
strategies should never be restricted to post-trafficking criminal prosecutions.
States are also obliged to take adequate measures for the prevention
of trafficking." From OSCE
Reference Guide for Anti-Trafficking Legislative Review.
Within the broad category of prevention, government bodies and non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) should take both a short-term and long-term perspective
to addressing trafficking. Short-term actions include education and
awareness-raising initiatives. Medium and longer-term projects include
lobbying efforts to change national laws, training and technical cooperation
projects for law enforcement and the judiciary and improving the social
and economic position of vulnerable women.
and Awareness Raising
Education initiatives may be directed toward the general public, as
a form of awareness raising and information campaigns, or toward women
and girls who are vulnerable to being trafficking. There are a number
of ways that information can be disseminated to the public- through
press conferences, media campaigns, public service announcements, distribution
of informational leaflets, documentary films and email and the Internet,
Regardless of the manner in which information is conveyed to the public,
an effective anti-trafficking campaign should take into consideration
both the audience and the message that is to be conveyed. The
U.S. National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women has developed
To End Violence Against Women which contains concrete guidelines
to NGOs, community and policy leaders who are working to end violence
against women in all forms. While, the toolkit does not address
trafficking specifically, it does include a chapter on Educating
and Mobilizing the Public About Violence Against Women with
guidelines and action items on public education.
The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), in cooperation
with the Media Materials Clearinghouse (Johns Hopkins Center
Communications Programs), has published a compilation of materials,
a Life Free From Violence: Media and Communications Strategies
to End Violence Against Women that includes sample campaigns
developed around the world to address trafficking and commercial
sexual exploitation. More information about and guidelines for
working with the media can be found in the Training section.
Much of the work in the area of education has been directed to providing
women and girls who are at risk of being trafficked with information
about potential dangers. Advice and information can be disseminated
through leaflets and brochures, lecture or video presentations or through
educational programs in schools and universities. La Strada Bulgaria
has created a set of guidelines called "Things
to Think About for Women and Girls Who Decide to Work Abroad,"
. The U.S. Department of State created a brochure titled, Be
Smart, Be Safe, which includes information for women on how they
can protect themselves when they travel to and work in the U.S. The
promotion of vocational training and general education for girls is
another tactic to reduce women's vulnerability to being trafficked.
Many NGOs also operate telephone hotline services, both for victims
of trafficking and also to provide information to women and girls who
are considering traveling abroad for work purposes. More information
about the creation of a telephone hotline and training of hotline staff
can be found in the Training section.
Programs and Technical Cooperation
Professional training programs, while educational, are distinct from
the general awareness raising projects discussed above. The objective
for training programs on trafficking in women is to provide technical
instruction, assistance and support for professionals who are already
working to address the problem. Training is geared toward law enforcement
agents, prosecutors, the judiciary, lawyers, immigration officers,
personnel and NGO representatives. Effective training, most often carried
out by NGOs, requires facilitators who themselves have been educated
in training techniques. Guidelines
for Developing a Training Program can be found on this
site. Sample training programs on the issue of trafficking in women
can be found in the Training section.
Technical cooperation can also take the form of local, national, regional
or international conferences. The OSCE promotes cooperation between
participating States through meetings in which experts can "discuss
specific needs and challenges, share approaches and best practices,
and promote joint actions between origin and destination countries."
Technical cooperation can be take place between small groups of experts
or between one or two countries and do not necessarily have to be on
the level of an international conference. The main goal of technical
cooperation is to share expertise in order improve each country's ability
to respond to the needs of trafficking victims and to facilitate international
efforts to combat the problem. In its Proposed
Action Plan 2000 for Activities to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings,
the OSCE recommended organizing roundtable meetings "in two to
three key destination countries, with the aim of enhancing co-operation
between embassy officials of the countries of origin and NGOs and officials
of the destination countries around the issue of victim assistance.
The objectives would be to raise awareness and to enhance international
co-operation at a practical level, by improving the capacity of source-country
embassies in destination countries to provide assistance and support
to their nationals who become victims of trafficking."
Long-term work to prevent trafficking includes putting pressure
on national governments to take the problem seriously. NGOs, at
the local, national and international levels, can engage in lobbying
for such changes as strengthening legislation against trafficking,
the allocation of resources to combat trafficking, increased government
spending on protection of and services for victims of trafficking
and for government sponsored anti-trafficking campaigns. Effective
lobbying requires specific strategies such as the need to clearly
identify the desired change, to develop a plan of action and to
gather support for the issue. More information about developing
lobbying strategies can be found in the Advocacy