Human Trafficking International Treaty / Traffic in Persons Protocol

The Traffic in Persons Protocol, also known as the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children is an international human trafficking treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000. This treaty has a number of important elements. It details what defines criminalization of trafficking in persons as well as how victims of trafficking can be protected. Moreover, the Traffic in Persons Protocol defines status of victims of human trafficking across member states (United Nations, 2000).

The Traffic in Persons Protocol has results that help to guide member states on how they should respond to crimes related to human trafficking. For instance, it provides for the confiscation of instruments that are used by criminals to harm trafficked persons (Olson, 2015). Furthermore, the Traffic in Persons Protocol ensures that human trafficking victims are not punished by member states for getting involved in either trafficking or immigration violations. Generally, the treaty helps to prevent and combat trafficking of persons and protects human trafficking victims, especially women and children, against revictimization. Article four of the Traffic in Persons Protocol however states the exceptions for which the treaty should not be implemented. The Traffic in Persons Protocol cannot be implemented on offenses where there is no human trafficking and in cases where human trafficking is not transnational in nature. Furthermore, state parties involved in the Traffic in Persons Protocol are prohibited from implementing the treaty’s elements when human trafficking crimes do not involve an organized criminal group (United Nations, 2000).

Although the Traffic in Persons Protocol was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, (UNOD), is responsible for its implementation. The treaty was formed mainly to offer practical help to member states on how to draft anti-trafficking laws. All member states are obliged to prevent human trafficking and to protect human trafficking victims while promoting increased cooperation among themselves (United Nations, 2000).

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