The Coalition against Trafficking in Women has been very active in lobbying for a good definition of trafficking for the Protocol on trafficking that supplements the Convention on Transnational Organized Crime. After almost two years of negotiations, the United Nations in Vienna finally agreed to a definition of trafficking that includes all the elements that the Coalition has been fighting for.
Following is the new definition:
For the purposes of this Protocol “Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring 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 (1) 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 (2), forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
The consent of a victim of trafficking inpersons to the intended exploitation set forth in subparagraph (a) shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) have been used. (3)
(b) The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered “trafficking in persons” even if this does not involve any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article.
(c) “Child” shall mean any person under eighteen years of age.
(1) The travaux preparatoires should indicate that the reference to the abuse of a position of vulnerability is understood to refer to any situation in which a person involved has no real and acceptable alternative but to submit to the abuse involved.
(2) The travaux preparatoires should indicate that this Protocol addresses the exploitation of prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation only in the context of trafficking in persons. The terms “exploitation of the prostitutionof others” or “other forms of sexual exploitation” are not defined in the Protocol. The Protocol is therefore without prejudice to how States Parties address prostitution in their respective domestic laws.
(3) The Travaux preparatoires shouldindicate that this subparagrapgh should not be construed as imposing restriction on the rights of accused persons to a full defense and to the presumption of innocence. The travaux preparatoires will also refer to article 11, paragrapgh 6 of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which preserves legal defences and other related legal principles of the domestic laws of States Parties.
Link to the Coalition’s site for an insight on their participation in affecting change in the Protocol and an explanation of the issue.