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Regional consultative processes on migration (RCPs) bring together representatives of ... Gaborone, Botswana. Participation. The Governments of: Botswana. Comoros ...

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Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa




IAWJ Conference on Human Trafficking

19 October, 2007

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Regional Consultative Processes

Regional consultative processes on migration (RCPs) bring together representatives of states, international organizations and, in some cases, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for informal and non-binding dialogue and information exchange on migration-related issues of common interest and concern.

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MIDSAWorkshop onHuman Trafficking and Legislative Responses in Southern Africa28 – 30 May 2007,Gaborone, Botswana

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  • The Governments of:

  • Botswana

  • Comoros

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo*,

  • Lesotho*,

  • Madagascar*,

  • Malawi,

  • Mauritius,

  • Mozambique*,

  • Namibia,

  • South Africa*,

  • Seychelles,

  • Swaziland,

  • Tanzania,

  • Zambia* and

  • Zimbabwe*

  • Country delegations headed by Members of Parliament

    The UNODC, EU, Australian High Commission, US embassies in Botswana and South Africa, the US State Department the SADC Secretariat, ISS and the University of Botswana were also represented.

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Government Feedback

  • Recognized that trafficking is becoming an increasing problem in the region

  • It requires an urgent response, both at national and sub-regional levels.

  • Most countries represented did not have specific anti-trafficking legislation or measures in place, but are using a variety of other laws, policies and regulations to combat the problem.

  • Most countries have signed the various protocols related to trafficking in persons and trans-national organized crime, but in many countries, these have yet to be incorporated into domestic law.

  • All governments are committed to developing anti-trafficking legislation and measures, with some having made more progress than others.

  • Participants underscored the need for co-operation in the development of anti-trafficking legislation and measures.

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Towards a Common SADC Approach

  • harmonization of laws is essential

  • take into account the different priorities of member states, as well as the different levels of capacity and access to resources;

  • the need for continuity in efforts to address the challenges of responding to trafficking

  • existing examples of co-operative approaches as well as protocols and agreements related to security, tourism, trade, transport, education;

  • processes aimed at achieving harmonization needed to be driven

  • at least minimum standards in place, if not harmonization

  • information-sharing between member states is critical, particularly with regard to efforts at developing anti-trafficking and monitoring progress

  • avoid 're-inventing the wheel'

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Conclusions & Recommendations

  • States that have not yet done so, should ratify the UN Protocol on Trafficking and related instruments and incorporate its provisions into domestic legislation

  • In addition to using existing criminal legislation to combat trafficking, states should develop and implement legislation that specifically criminalizes trafficking in persons. Such legislation should incorporate measures to prevent trafficking in persons, to investigate trafficking cases, to prosecute perpetrators, and to provide protection, including witness protection, and legal, medical and social assistance to the victims of trafficking

  • Where required, immigration laws to provide victims of trafficking with the possibility and opportunity to obtain temporary residence and, in cases where it is unsafe for the victims of trafficking to return to their country of origin to apply for appropriate immigration status.

  • Information, education and communication programmes should be developed and conducted to sensitize and inform people, including the media and those responsible for law enforcement, to the risks associated with trafficking in persons and measures in place to prosecute perpetrators and to protect and assist victims of trafficking.

  • Guidelines and training programmes, aimed at increasing the capacity of law enforcement agencies and officials, including prosecutors, should be developed and implemented.

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Conclusions & Recommendation cont/d…

  • SADC member states should be encouraged to develop and implement bilateral and multi-lateral agreements pertaining to joint and co-operative measures, specifically to combat trafficking in persons. Such measures should include joint investigations, mutual legal assistance, extradition agreements and the sharing of information and resources.

  • Consideration should be given to the establishment of specialized courts, as well as the specialized training of law enforcement officials, including prosecutors, to facilitate the investigation and processing of cases involving trafficking in persons.

  • Policies, legislation, practices and other measures pertaining to the combating of trafficking in persons, should be harmonized between SADC member states, and consideration should be given to the drafting of a SADC Protocol on Trafficking in Persons.

  • Efforts should be made to engage Members of Parliaments and Ministers to facilitate the development of policies and legislation aimed at addressing the problem of trafficking. Such efforts could include national workshops, as well as the convening of one or more Ministerial-level MIDSA workshops on the subject of trafficking.

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Conclusions & Recommendations cont/d…

  • Co-operation within and between national governments, as well as between governments and civil society organizations should be encouraged and strengthened.

  • Existing regional institutions, such as the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Co-operation, that could play a useful role in the combating of trafficking throughout the SADC region should be identified and incorporated into the development of policies, legislation and other measures, specifically for the purpose of fostering collaboration, co-operation and harmonization.

  • Research and data gathering exercises, aimed at improving knowledge and understanding of and about trafficking in the region, and facilitating appropriate policy and legislative responses should be undertaken.

  • Co-operating partners, either directly or via international organizations that provide technical and other assistance to governments, should continue to support efforts at capacity-building, resource-development and other measures that will enhance the ability of governments and non-governmental organizations to address the problems related to trafficking in persons.

  • Efforts should be made to strengthen and increase the capacity and value of processes that promote dialogue and information-sharing. In this regard, the MIDSA Process is particularly important, and national governments, regional organizations, as well as co-operating partners should be encouraged to continue supporting the MIDSA Process.