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Ensure women and girls stay a UN priority

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UNGA, trafficking women and girls, SDG5, Help get UN and Member States to prioritise ending the sex trafficking of women and girls.

From 27 – 28 September 2017, the United Nations General Assembly and governments will review ‘The 2010 Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons’ and agree on a way forward to end human trafficking.

USD99 billion is generated illegally each year from sex trafficking – primarily from the exploitation of women and girls – and your help is needed to make sure that sex trafficking and sexual exploitation continue to be recognised and addressed as distinct forms of human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a criminal industry amassing USD150 billion globally each year with sex trafficking making up 54 per cent of the industry overall.

The Global Plan is reviewed every four years and calls on governments, UN bodies, and civil society to work together to integrate the fight against human trafficking into the UN’s broader programmes on global development and to strengthen security around the world.

It also calls for a United Nations (UN) fund for trafficking victims, especially women and children.

At the end of the Review, governments will adopt a Political Declaration that will lay out the way forward in the fight against trafficking.

With women and girls making up 96 per cent of all victims trafficked for sex, Equality Now and its partners are calling on the UN and governments to prioritise specific measures to end sex trafficking during this upcoming Review.

The Palermo Protocol – the leading international treaty to combat trafficking in persons – officially defined trafficking as exploitation for prostitution or other sexual exploitation as one of the four distinct forms of human trafficking.

And 171 countries have signed up to the Palermo Protocol, committing to implementing its terms and provisions, including the legal definition of trafficking.

And in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), developed to “stimulate action through 2030 (Agenda 2030) in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet,” three targets directly relate to trafficking and the implementation of the Global Plan of Action:  Targets 5.2 (trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls); 8.7 (forced labour and child labour); and 16.2 (all other forms of child trafficking).

Millions of vulnerable women and girls continue to suffer grave human rights violations every year at the hands of traffickers who profit from the trade in human beings, and from buyers who fuel this multibillion dollar illegal enterprise.

However, there is also the concern that sex trafficking is falling under the radar for governments and the UN.

For example, a recent High Level Political Forum reviewing SDG 5 made no reference to sex trafficking even though Target 5.2 specifically outlines the need to address the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls.

With little time left until the UN General Assembly review of the Global Plan, help make sure that sex trafficking is addressed and prioritised as a distinct form of human trafficking.

Together with the SDGs, the Global Plan will be a powerful tool to end the abuse and trauma of millions around the world.

Please join Equality Now in calling on the UN and governments to:

Use the international legal definition of trafficking in persons as provided and internationally agreed upon under the Palermo Protocol;

Ensure that all three SDG targets related to trafficking: 5.2; 8.7 and 16.2 are prioritised in implementing the Global Plan of Action; and

Urge the remaining 21 governments which have not done so to ratify and enforce the Palermo Protocol.

These ‘asks’ have now been included in the Final Draft of the Political Declaration of the Review of the Global Plan of Action – so in the draft, sex trafficking and exploitation of women and girls will receive the serious level of attention they deserve: please call on your government to support full implementation of the Declaration and Global Plan of Action.

You can find the UK government’s mission contact info here.

Thanks.

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