via Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Human Rights Are:

  • Rights that belong to all people at birth by virtue of our common humanity, that allow us to live life with freedom and dignity.
  • Protected by the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights
  • Universal, inalienable, indivisible

Human Rights Approach to Trafficking

  • Focuses on situation, needs, and rights of trafficked persons
  • Respects individual autonomy and rights
  • Is empowering and non-judgmental
  • Connects the rights of the individual to prosecution of traffickers

Other Approaches

Approach to Human Trafficking as Organized Crime Problem:

Focuses on detecting and prosecuting criminals

  • Effects – Victim becomes:
    • “Disposable” witness
    • Criminalized
    • Vulnerable to re-trafficking

Approach to Human Trafficking as an Immigration Problem:

Focuses on stopping irregular migration

  • Effects:
    • Stricter visa regulations and border controls, esp. for young women
    • Migration industry forced underground
    • “Illegal” migrants deported immediately
    • Strengthens role and power of traffickers

Approach to Human Trafficking as a Sexual-Moral Problem:

Focuses solely on prostitution to exclusion of other types of trafficking

  • Effects:
    • Criminalizes victims
    • Denies sexual violence in other types of trafficking
    • Often ignores trafficking of men and boys
    • Increases isolation, stigmatization, and marginalization
    • Steers resources toward ending demand for all prostitution rather than human trafficking prevention (shelters, social service programs, economic empowerment)

Approach to Human Trafficking as a “Saving Women and Girls” Problem:

  • In the US and around the world, men, boys, and transgender persons are vulnerable to human trafficking in many forms
  • Focusing solely on women and girls further stigmatizes other survivors who may be more reluctant to speak out and seek help
  • Social service programs that do not include adequate resources for men, boys, and transgender individuals lead to under-identification and put survivors at extreme risk for re-trafficking
  • Human rights standards apply to all trafficked persons – men, women and children.
  • Historically, women have often been treated as children and denied rights attached to adulthood. A patriarchal approach of “helping,” “saving,” and “rescuing” women, rather than “empowering” women, has been a common modus operandi, reinforced by gender stereotypes.