The United Nations definition of human trafficking is: ‘the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation’. In South Asia, many states are origin, transit and destination countries for trafficking. Studies have revealed that trafficking in women and children in the region is on the rise.
This helpdesk research report aims to map out the key actors (international, regional, national and civil society) that are working to counter human trafficking in South Asia and their activities.
The focus and mission of an organisation may affect its view of trafficking and anti-trafficking activities. Different approaches include:
- Trafficking as a law enforcement and criminal justice issue
- Movement in the trafficking process
- Trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation
- Trafficking as a labour issue
- A human rights-based approach to trafficking.
Anti-trafficking activities fall under three broad categories: prevention (including awareness raising and targeting economic opportunities to vulnerable communities); protection (including recovery and reintegration of women and children); and prosecution (including support for implementation of legislation and capacity building of police).
Each approach and set of activities address an important aspect of human trafficking; it is crucial to consider them as complementary in order to properly tackle the full complexity and dynamics of human trafficking.