Refugee Protection and Human Trafficking

A GRF 2023 linked event

As part of the Global Refugee Forum 2023 official program, on 11 December 2023, several stakeholders came together in a linked event on Refugee Protection and Human Trafficking.

The event served to raise awareness and mobilise support for the Multistakeholder Pledge: Protection for refugees and migrants at risk of or affected by trafficking in persons that is led by the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, with the support of ILO, IOM UNODC, ICAT and UNHCR. The pledge sets out concrete measures that can be taken to prevent trafficking among refugees, asylum-seekers, stateless people and migrants, as well as to ensure access to asylum and other forms of international protection for trafficked persons and persons at risk of trafficking.

Displacement increases the risks of trafficking, particularly when people are pushed into risky journeys in search of safety or when refugees in protracted situations lack access to effective protection, decent work and education. Yet, prevention of trafficking can be advanced by ensuring access to protection and expanding opportunities and solutions for displaced people, including along their routes.

Partners from State institutions, civil society organizations and faith-based groups highlighted the serious violations of rights of victims of trafficking, the challenges in access to protection and justice, and the shortage of protection services, especially in remote areas along dangerous routes. Most notably, partners affirmed their commitments to take concrete actions. Twenty-one partners, including States, NGOs, UN entities, lawyers' associations, and academia, joined the pledge, committing to taking measures ranging from awareness raising to strengthening community-based and child protection, from increasing livelihoods and promoting decent work opportunities for displaced people, to providing psychosocial support and legal aid for survivors in refugee settings.

The linked event Refugee protection and Human Trafficking was organized by the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, UNHCR, the Sovereign Order of Malta, Caritas Internationalis, COATNET, Secours Catholique France, with the support of France, Switzerland, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Holy See, and UNODC.

For more information about the Multistakeholder Pledge: Protection for refugees and migrants at risk of or affected by trafficking in persons, please contact Liliana Sorrentino, Legal Officer, Division of International Protection, UNHCR at [email protected].

You can look at the agenda and watch the recording of the event: