What is the Parlemo Trafficking Protocol?
What is commonly referred to as the Parlemo Protocol is fully called the ‘Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children’. It is a protocol to the Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and was adopted by the United Nations in Palermo (Italy) in 2000. The Protocol commits ratifying states to prevent and combat trafficking in persons and to assist victims of trafficking.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is responsible for implementing the Protocol and offers practical assistance to states in terms of drafting laws, comprehensive national anti trafficking strategies and assisting with resources to implement them.
The Protocol defines human trafficking as the transporting of persons, by means of coercion, deception or consent for the purpose of exploitation such as forced or consensual labour or prostitution.
Besides defining human trafficking, the Protocol also covers the following:
- facilitating the return and acceptance of children who have been victims of cross-border trafficking, with due regard to their safety;
- prohibiting the trafficking of children for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation of children, exploitative labour practices of the removal of body parts;
- suspending parental rights of parents, caregivers or any other persons who have parental rights in respect of a child should they be found to have trafficked a child;
- ensuring that definitions of trafficking reflect the need for special safeguards and care for children, including appropriate legal protection;
- ensuring that trafficked persons are not punished for any offences or activities related to their having been trafficked, such as prostitution and immigration violations;
- ensuring that victims of trafficking are protected from deportation or return where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that such return would represent a significant security risk to the trafficked person or their family;
- considering temporary or permanent residence in countries of transit or destination for trafficking victims in exchange for testimony against alleged traffickers, or on humanitarian and compassionate grounds;
- providing for proportional criminal penalties to be applied to persons found guilty of trafficking in aggravating circumstances, including offences involving trafficking in children or offences committed or involving complicity by state officials; and,
- providing for the confiscation of the instruments and proceeds of trafficking and related offences to be used for the benefit of trafficked persons.
The importance of these international instruments (protocols/coneventions) is that they give a framework for states to tackle commonly recognised challenges. There is then scope for states to tap into UN technical assistance and address some of these challenges in a co-operative manner. And this is particularly critical when it comes to transnational organised crimes such as human trafficking or drug trafficking.
So what is the Status of SADC countries and the Palermo Protocol?? Will discuss that in the next post Please do not forget to leave comments.