Combating trafficking [of women] in South-East Asia: a review of policy and programme responses

Combating trafficking [of women] in South-East Asia: a review of policy and programme responses

Review of programmes to control trafficking of women and children in South East Asia

At least 200-225,000 women and children from South-East Asia are trafficked annually, a figure representing nearly one-third of the global trafficking trade. Of the estimated 45-50,000 women and children estimated to be trafficked into the US each year, 30,000 are believed to come from South-East Asia. However, most trafficking occurs within South-East Asia, and only a minority of women from the region are trafficked to other parts of the world.

This study provides an overview of initiatives and actors involved in the fight against trafficking in the region and an inventory of current anti-trafficking programmes and measures. Although previous efforts have been made to compile information on a national, regional or subregional basis on counter-trafficking measures, these compilation reports do not provide a systematic overview of the variety of responses that have been developed within the region. This study aims to provide such an overview as well as to be a tool for information exchange and for further development of counter-traf-ficking initiatives, as intended by the Bangkok Declaration on Irregular Migration.

The study is divided into four parts:

  • The first part describes the historical development of the trafficking debate and gives an analysis of the various approaches to trafficking.
  • Part Two focuses on trafficking patterns and responses in the South-East Asian region. It briefly describes the trafficking situation in South-East Asia and then lists the various trafficking responses that have been developed at the regional, sub-regional and bilateral levels. Some attention is paid to policy responses in re-ceiving countries outside the region.
  • Part Three forms the main part of the study and describes the responses that have been developed within the South-East Asian countries. Attention is paid to the different actors, including governments, NGOs, inter-national organizations and international networks, and their policies in relation to counter-trafficking measures. The counter-trafficking measures are, where possible, broadly divided into four categories: juridical,1 prevention, protection and return.
  • Part Four reviews some of the problems most often mentioned in the fight against trafficking and discusses priority areas for the development and strengthening of counter-trafficking programmes and initiatives.

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