Find More Mercy Projects

Opposing Human Trafficking

Spread the word

Update on Anti-Trafficking work at Mercy Global Action at the UN - May, 2017

May 17, 2017

Mercy Global Action at the UN has engaged in the following:

Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
The priority theme for CSW61 in March 2017 was Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work. MGA at the UN prepared a written statement with The Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd.
Joint Written Statement to the UN Commission on the Status of Women

Mercy also co-sponsored a parallel event at CSW entitled ‘Inherent Dignity, Real Choices: A Preventative Approach to Ending Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation’. Other sponsors included CSTIP, IBVM and the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity.
At this event, Marietta Latonio, Philippine Social Worker and co-editor of 'I have a Voice: Trafficked Women in their own Words' was presented with a ‘Woman of Courage’ Award from UNANIMA. A link to this event can be found here.

CSTIP of which we are member also sponsored a parallel event entitled ‘Human Trafficking and Labor: Accessorizing Our Lives at the Cost of Others’

Review of the Global Plan of Action
MGA at the UN is part of a small ad Hoc advocacy group from CSTIP whose purpose is to participate in the Review of the Global Plan of Action on Human Trafficking. Representatives in the group include, Good Shepherd Sisters, IBVM, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW)
Access a copy of the Global Plan of Action here
The review will take place at UN, New York on September 27th and 28th following the annual UN Summit. Member States have just agreed on the modalities for the meeting and a resolution was passed last Thursday. View a copy of the resolution here
We will be visiting Missions and lobbying delegates on these key issues over the coming months. We are finalizing our advocacy points. Final Draft reads;
• Adopt an action orientated document committing to the full implementation of the UNGPA to Combat trafficking in Persons and the 2030 Agenda for SDG. Specifically adhering to the requirements of Targets 5.2, 8.7 and 16.2
• Adhere to the recommendations of the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, specifically the universal ratification of the Convention and Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.
• Actualize by December 2018 a robust review mechanism for the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.
• Allocate significant resources at the national and international levels toward prevention strategies and exit services to reverse what ‘constitutes a serious threat to human dignity, human rights, and development
• Address demand. Without demand there is no trafficking of persons. Addressing this root cause is essential. Demand for high profits, cheap goods and labor, and commercialized sex is the driving force behind human trafficking.
I can send the final advocacy points to anyone who is interested in lobbying on this nationally or regionally. They should be available early next week.

NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons (CSTIP)
MGA at the UN attended several meetings of the NGO UN Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons meeting. It has three main working groups: Forced labor, Sexual exploitation, Corporate Social Responsibility. Three fact sheets have been produced by the committee reflecting these different focuses. The facts sheets are attached in PDF format and feel free to share them.

Mercy Global Action, MIA also endorsed a letter to be sent to the Secretary General in the next week. It is currently in transit so I am not free to attach it. However, I am happy to discuss this at the meeting. The letter is in relation to UN Peacekeepers and Sexual Exploitation.

The New York Declaration and the Global Compact on Migration
During the September 2016 UN Summit in New York, Member States agreed on a powerful set of plans to address the issue of Migration. The outcome document is referred to as the New York Declaration and can be viewed here  A key initiative within this declaration for Refugees and Migrants was the commitment to undertake intergovernmental negotiations during 2017 in order to create a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. This Global Impact is set to be adopted at an international migration conference in 2018.
Mercy Global Action at the UN will represent the Sisters of Mercy worldwide at these governmental negotiations which will consist of thematic sessions and multi-stakeholder sessions beginning in May 2017.
The themes for the sessions include the following
1) Addressing drivers of migration, including adverse effects of climate change, natural disasters and human-made crises, through protection and assistance, sustainable development, poverty eradication, conflict prevention and resolution (May 2017).
2) International cooperation and governance of migration in all its dimensions, including at borders, on transit, entry, return, readmission, integration and reintegration (June 2017).
3) Contributions of migrants and diasporas to all dimensions of sustainable development, including remittances and portability of earned benefits (July 2017).
4) Smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons and contemporary forms of slavery, including appropriate identification, protection and assistance to migrants and trafficking victims (September 2017).
5) Irregular migration and regular pathways including decent work, labour mobility, recognition of skills and qualifications and other relevant matters (October 2017).

United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Mercy has applied to sponsor a side event on human trafficking during the High level Political Forum(HLPF) in July 2017. UNODC have agreed to be co-sponsors along with Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and Salesians. The concept note has not yet been accepted so I am not free to post it, however the event will focus on Unaccompanied minors and their vulnerability to human trafficking. The following report may be of interest to some. Link:

Online Resources produced by the MGA office at the UN which can be found on the Mercy world website.
Permanent Online Resource 14 days to Stop Trafficking in Persons put together as part of the UN 16 days of Activism for Non Violence
See link

- Angela Reed rsm - Coordinator Mercy Global Action at the UN