From: Alice Taylor
UN Rapporteur Says Human Trafficking Is Human Rights Issue, Not Just a Legal Issue

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro has called for States to use a human rights-based approach, rather than just viewing it as a law enforcement issue

When presenting her final report to the Human Rights Council, she noted key gaps in the implementation of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.

“Results have been achieved, especially in the field of sexual exploitation, and especially in countries in which good cooperation with civil society organisations has been established,” Giammarinaro said. “However, the fight against trafficking for labour exploitation is still at an early stage.”

She noted that trafficked persons should not be subject to further violations of their rights or legal measures. No other victims of crime are subjected to restrictive measures such as closed shelters, she added.

States are obliged to ensure that they give long term assistance to victims including education, training, alternative employment, residence status, and access to judicial and non-judicial remedies.

“States and businesses must comply with their due diligence obligations, and ensure that exploitation, especially in the supply chains, is detected and addressed, and that workers have access to remedies including alternative employment, payment of salaries and compensation,” Giammarinaro said.

Last week, the US State Department released its report on human trafficking in Albania. It noted that the government had only sentenced five traffickers in 2018, the lowest number since 2014. It called on authorities to “investigate, prosecute, and punish traffickers, including officials that cooperate with them.”

The State Department said that Albania does not meet the required minimum standards for eliminating trafficking.  

In May, UNICEF raised concerns over the trafficking of women and girls, in and from Albania. They announced an intervention that will work with at-risk communities to raise awareness, help survivors, and increase preventative measures.