Saturday, October 25, 2008

GAATW International Forum

GAATW International Forum

Collateral Damage: The Impact of Anti-Trafficking Policies on Human Rights

of Migrant and Trafficked Persons

Where: Makati Skyline Restaurant, Mezzanine Flr, World Trade Center

Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Pasay City

Date: 23 October 2008

Time: 2pm-4:30pm

According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, anti-trafficking measures “shall not adversely affect the human rights and dignity of persons, in particular the rights of those who have been trafficked and of migrants, internally displaced persons, refugees and asylum seekers”1. However, human rights advocates and activists are increasingly concerned that the strategies designed to fight trafficking may prove harmful to the very people they are intended to benefit.

The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW)2, an international network of more than 90 organisations, recently published a research report exploring the “collateral damage” of anti-trafficking measures on migrant and trafficked women in eight countries across five continents. The conclusions revealed that these policies are having negative impacts on both trafficked persons and migrants, and have led GAATW to call for urgent improvements to ensure that migrant and trafficked persons do not become “victims” of anti-trafficking. Eleven recommendations from the research are directed at governments, policy makers, law enforcement officials, labour and human rights defenders, human rights bodies and institutions, as well as at NGOs at national, regional and international levels.

As a Pre-Event to the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in Manila, GAATW will share the findings and recommendations of this ground-breaking study with government agencies in the Philippines including the Department of Foreign Affairs; members of the diplomatic corps; international, regional and national NGOs; and local and international media.

The objective of this event is to present different aspects of the human rights impact of anti-trafficking policies and legislation on migrant and trafficked women. This will include a national perspective of the Philippines, international examples from GAATW’s report, the impact of anti-trafficking on migration, and recommended solutions to improve the human rights protection of both migrants and trafficked persons.

Our honourable speakers include:

  • Mr. Thongbai Thongpao, 1984 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Public Service, human rights lawyer and activist and former Thai Senator
  • Ms. Jackie Pollock, founding member of the Migrant Assistance Program (MAP) and expert on migrant issues in the South East Asia region
  • Ms. Nelia Sancho, Executive Director of the Buhay Foundation for Women and the Girl Child in the Philippines, GAATW International Board Member

For further information, please contact Ms. Michelle Taguinod, GAATW International Secretariat Office, Bangkok, Thailand telephone: 662-8641427/8, Fax: 662-864-1637. In the Philippines, please contact Ms. Nelia Sancho, telephone (632) 4331680; mobile: 09175269144.


Name & DESIGNATION (if more than one person is attending from the same organisation, please include):______________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________



[ ] I/we will attend the GAATW International Forum: Collateral Damage on 23 October from 2-4:30 at the Makati Skyline Restaurant in the World Trade Center, Manila.

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