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Trafficking in Human Beings

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people are trafficked around the world. Human trafficking is the third largest criminal enterprise worldwide, after drugs and arms trafficking. Trafficking primarily affects the most vulnerable groups of society, namely women and children. Victims of sexual abuse, economic exploitation and trauma associated with their situation of extreme vulnerability, are not always adequately protected by countries' policies and practices. Urgent action is needed.

One of Franciscans International's (FI) main areas of work is to address the trafficking of human beings. FI gives a strong response to this human rights violation by means of research, advocacy and lobbying work as well as capacity building and awareness raising.

Our goal is to mobilise members of the Franciscan Family and civil society to advocate for policies and prevention programmes as well as the establishment of protection measures and assistance to the victims.

Franciscans International devotes much energy to advocacy activities at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva. The Human Rights Council sessions are privileged occasions for FI's to submit reports, make oral statements and organise 'working sessions' with diplomats and other organisations to discuss and exchange views on the issue and influence policy making.

FI works in close collaboration with organisations that have a strong expertise in this area, such as Anti-Slavery International, the Global Alliance against Traffic in Women (GAATW) and Trócaire. FI also has a close working relationship with the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, Ms. Joy Ezeilo.

Since June 2002, FI, in partnership with Anti-Slavery International and Trócaire, has organised workshops focussing on the United Nations' and the International Labour Organisation's human rights mechanisms relating to trafficking and forced labour. FI's objective is to build the awareness and participation of the Franciscan Family at the grassroots and associated organisations, on the UN human rights protection system, in relation to human trafficking.

"To Whom It May Concern", is an awareness raising film produced by FI. Religious communities in 17 countries sent letters about trafficking in their communities, best practices to eliminate it and government policy. Read more>>

Ms. Joy Ezeilo, UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking, especially Women and Children speaks on the right to effective remedy for trafficked persons. Read more>>

Sr. Justine Serapati SJA testifies on the trafficking of women and girls in   Kandhamal-Odisha, India, at an UN side event organised by FI. Read more>>