Working in the United States and throughout the world to eradicate trafficking in persons, especially women and children, has and continues to be at the core of The Protection Projects human rights activities.
The Protection Project implements a comprehensive approach to working against this most egregious violation, and has, throughout the years, carried out numerous initiatives aimed at raising awareness on the issue of trafficking and assisting governments and civil society actors in developing, enacting, and implementing effective responses.
- Testifying before the U.S. Congress, U.S. State Legislatures, and Foreign Parliaments
- Assisting Countries in Drafting and Implementing Anti-Trafficking Legislation
- Working with the United Nations to Combat Trafficking in Persons around the World
- Raising Awareness on the Issue of Trafficking in Persons throughout the United States
- Reaching out to the Diplomatic Community and Receiving International Visitors
The Protection Project has assisted U.S. and foreign lawmakers in monitoring responses to combat trafficking in persons by testifying in US and foreign committees overseeing responses to the issue of trafficking and elaborating recommendations for more effective legislation and policy.
Before the U.S. Congress:
On November 28, 2012, The Protection Project testified as to the status of labor trafficking in countries of the Middle East before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
In April 2008, The Protection Project gave a Congressional Briefing, as part of the Capitol Hill Distinguished Speakers Series: Stopping Women Trafficking in the Muslim World, in cooperation the American-Islamic Congress.
On September 27, 2006, The Protection Project testified at Protecting Children: The Battle Against Child Pornography and Other forms of Sexual Exploitation, a Hearing before the Helsinki Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe, United States Congress.
On July 13, 2004, The Protection Project testified on Mail-order Brides: Exploited Dreams, before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
On July 7, 2004, The Protection Project testified on Examining U.S. Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery: An Assessment of the United States. Recent Legal Responses to the Problem of Trafficking in Persons on the Federal, State and International Levels before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights.
On June 25, 2003, The Protection Project testified on A Comparative Analysis of the Anti-trafficking Legislation in Foreign Countries: Towards a Comprehensive and Effective Legal Response to Combating Trafficking in Persons before the House Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Human Rights.
On October 29, 2003, The Protection Project testified on the Role of the Government in Combating Trafficking in Persons A Global Human Rights Approach, before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness.
On June 28, 1999, prior to the passage of the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in 2000, The Protection Project testified on The Sex Trade: Trafficking of Women and Children in Europe and the United States, before the United States Congress Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Before U.S. State Legislatures:
On March 21, 2005, The Protection Project testified on the topic of Towards a More Adequate and Effective Legal Response to Trafficking in Persons: The New Maryland Trafficking of Persons and Involuntary Servitude Law before the Maryland House of Delegates, in the state of Maryland.
Before Foreign Parliaments:
On October 17, 2005, The Protection Project delivered Remarks on the Anti-Trafficking law of Mexico, in front of the Senate of Mexico, in Mexico City, Mexico.
On November 29, 2004, The Protection Project testified on A Call for the Passage of the Russian Draft Law on Encountering Trafficking in Persons: Is a Need for a Comprehensive Law or Is the Amendment to the Criminal Code (Article 127) before the State Duma of the Russian Federation, in Moscow, Russia.
Assisting Countries in Drafting and Implementing Anti-Trafficking Legislation
Enacting and implementing effective anti-trafficking legislation, which criminalizes the trafficker, recognizes the trafficked person as a victim, and provides for prevention mechanisms and protective services, is the first step to any comprehensive response to the crime of trafficking in persons. The Protection Project works regularly with law and policy-makers, as well as civil society groups throughout the world, to assist countries in drafting comprehensive and effective anti-trafficking legislation. The Protection Project has assisted many countries in drafting and implementing anti-trafficking legislation, for example:
In Bahrain, The Protection Project worked in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to train members of the Royal Police Academy on the Anti-Trafficking Law of Bahrain (July 2008).
In Haiti, The Protection Project worked in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to provide commentary the improvement of Haitis Draft Anti-Trafficking Law (2008).
In Indonesia, The Protection Project provided extensive commentary on the Indonesian Anti-Trafficking Bill (May 2005).
In Iraq, The Protection Project has been working directly with legislative drafters to enhance and advocate for the passage of the Draft Anti-Trafficking Legislation of Iraq, in cooperation the Iraqi Council of Ministers and the University of Baghdad (February 2009-2012).
In Egypt, The Protection Project cooperated with the National Coordinating Committee on Combating and Preventing Human Trafficking on drafting the country’s 2010 anti-trafficking law as well as two national action plans adopted in 2010 and 2013.
In Kuwait, The Protection Project participated in a discussion of the Draft Anti-Trafficking Law of Kuwait with the Institute for Judicial and Legal Training (2007).
In Malaysia, The Protection Project held meetings with governmental officials on the enforcement of the Anti-Trafficking Law of Malaysia (2008).
In Oman, The Protection Project participated in a workshop discussing the new Omani Law to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2007).
In Qatar, The Protection Project has cooperated closely with the Qatar Foundation to Combat Human Trafficking toward the passage of a comprehensive anti-trafficking law in Qatar.
In Saudi Arabia, The Protection Project has conducted a range of activities, ranging from fact-finding missions to assess the scope of the problem (March 2007), to trainings of prosecutorial techniques in the judicial legal system, specifically directed at trafficking cases (January 2009). These and other measures have resulted in the Draft Anti-Trafficking Law of Saudi Arabia, on which The Protection Project conducted trainings at the Naif Arab University of Security Sciences (July 2008).
In Syria, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), The Protection Project participated in a workshop on drafting an anti-trafficking law (2007). The following year (January 2008), The Protection Project took part in another workshop on a discussion of the new Syrian draft law on combating trafficking in persons in light of international legal standards and comparative models.
In the United Arab Emirates, The Protection Project conducted a regional conference on trafficking in persons in the six Persian Gulf States, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (December 2007).
In Yemen, in cooperation with UNICEF, The Protection Project advised the government in the implementation of the National Capacity Building Programme to Counter Child trafficking in Yemen (August 2006 and October 2006).
The United Nations is a crucial forum for working with countries to advance anti-trafficking efforts. The Protection Project therefore works closely with various agencies of the United Nations, especially the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), on the implementation of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, by participating in Expert Group meetings, speaking before the United Nations General Assembly, and carrying out side events for civil society groups in conjunction with United Nations treaty committee meetings.
The Protection Project has taken part in Expert Group Meetings convened by various agencies of the United Nations:
The Protection Project participated in the Expert Group Meeting on a Framework for an Effective Implementation of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking In persons, Especially Women and Children convened by the UNODC (April 2009).
The Protection Project participated in the Expert Group Meeting on Drafting a Model Law to Combat Trafficking in Persons (2007).
The Protection Project served as a member of an Expert Group tasked with drafting an advanced manual for judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers on trafficking in persons (February 2007).
The Protection Project participated in an Expert Group Meeting on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in the MENA Region Regional Plan of Action and Technical Cooperation, convened by the UNODC (July 2006).
The Protection Project has presented before the United Nations General Assembly and other United Nations bodies:
On January 28, 2013, The Protection Project and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) presented their joint project, a Model Law on Child Protection, to the members of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child during its 62nd session in Geneva, Switzerland.
On July 20, 2012, The Protection Project held a meeting with the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) in New York City where it presented its publication Reporting on the Status of Trafficking in Women in Accordance with Article 6 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women: Guidelines on the Interpretation of the Text of Article 6 of the Convention.
The Protection Project took part in the launching of the UNODC Framework for an Effective Implementation of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children before the UN General Assembly in New York, NY (October 2009).
The Protection Project participated in a panel discussion addressing Violence against Women through Legal Reform a joint dialogue of the Commissions on the Status of Women and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, NY (March 2009).
The Protection Project took part in the United Nations Informal Thematic Debate of the General Assembly on Human Trafficking in New York, NY (June 2008).
The Protection Project spoke on An Analysis of the Handbook for Parliamentarians on the Appropriate Legal Responses to Combat Trafficking in Persons, before a Parliamentary Forum convened by the UNODC in conjunction with the United Nations Global Initiative to Combat Trafficking In Persons (UN.GIFT) Forum, in Vienna, Austria (February 2008).
The Protection Project has conducted side events for civil society groups in conjunction with United Nations treaty committee meetings:
The Protection Project organized a Side Event to the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice on National and International Reporting and Monitoring Mechanisms on Trafficking in Persons assessing state reports submitted to the United Nations on the status of trafficking in persons and national models of reporting and monitoring mechanisms on government progress to combat trafficking in persons, in Vienna, Austria (April 2009).
To prevent trafficking in persons throughout the United States, The Protection Project has worked through the years to bring attention to the issue and raise levels of awareness and understanding among the general public.
In doing so, The Protection Project has spoken out at numerous events throughout the country, covering over 20 states in doing so. Topics addressed by The Protection Project have included: Human Trafficking for the Purpose of Prostitution: The Bush Doctrine and Beyond, (at the Fifth Annual Conference entitled Prostitution, Sex Work, and Human Trafficking, at the University of Toledo, Ohio, September 2009); Sex Trafficking as a Form of Sexual Violence Against Women: East Meets West: Cross-Cultural Perspectives towards Addressing and Preventing Sexual Assault, (at the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Maryland, March 2008); A Three-E Approach in Reviewing the US Laws against Trafficking in Persons, (at the United States Department of Justice National Conference on Human Trafficking in Louisiana, October 2006). PROTECT Act: A Legislative Review of Child Sex Tourism Laws in the United States, (at the United Front for Children Conference at the University of Minnesota, April 2006); Overview of Transnational Trafficking: A Global Perspective, (at the University Program on Trafficking in Persons at Nonwestern University in Illinois, April 2006); Sexual Coercion and Trafficking: A Legal Perspective, (at the Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research, California, June 2003); The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000: An International and Comparative Perspective, (at the Trafficking in Persons: Conference on Modern Day Slavery, Global, National and Local Perspectives in Texas, 2003); International Conventional Law: The United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, (at the Globalization, Justice, and the Trafficking of Women and Children Conference at the University of Washington, October 2002), and many others.
Raising awareness about trafficking among members of the diplomatic community stationed in Washington, DC provides an unmatched opportunity to advocate with governments of countries throughout the world for enhancing anti-trafficking responses, familiarizing them with U.S. efforts raising their awareness on cutting edge issues in the field, and promoting information exchange. The Protection Project regularly reaches out to the diplomatic community in Washington, DC through its embassy luncheon series. The Protection Project has also cooperated with embassy officials to organize events that highlight their countries efforts in combating trafficking in persons. Throughout the years, such programs have included:
“Combating Human Trafficking in Egypt,” A Discussion with His Excellency Mohamed M. Tawfik, Ambassador of Egypt to the U.S. and Ambassador Naela Gabr, United Nations (March 13, 2013).
“Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report 2009: Findings and Recommendations” An open dialogue with Ambassador Luis C. de Baca Director, Office to monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons US Department of State (July 24, 2013).
The Council of Europe Approach to Trafficking in Human Beings (June 5, 2008).
The Status of Trafficking in Persons in the Arab World (March 31, 2008).
A dialogue with the newly appointed Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons of the US Department of State, Ambassador Mark Lagon (June 20, 2007).
A dialogue with the Israeli National Coordinator on Trafficking in Persons, Ms. Rachel Gershuni (March 6, 2007) (in cooperation with the Embassy of Israel in Washington, DC).
A dialogue with the Swedish National Coordinator on Trafficking in Persons, Mr. Anders Oljelund (February 13, 2007) (in cooperation with the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC).
Trafficking in Persons in Greece, a dialogue with the Ambassador of Greece to the United States, His Excellency Alexandros Mallias (July 10, 2006) (in cooperation with the Embassy of Greece in Washington, DC).
The Protection Project publishes an annual review of the U.S. Department of States Trafficking in Persons Report that is released in June of every year. The purpose of the Review is to analyze the data contained in the Department of State for members of the diplomatic community, other representatives of foreign governments, as well as the U.S. government, and members of civil society in the U.S. and abroad.
Likewise, The Protection Project regularly receives international visitors focusing on the issue of trafficking in persons and selected by the U.S. Department of States International Leadership Visitor Exchange Programs. Over the years, The Protection Project has spoken about its work, as well as U.S. efforts to combat trafficking to delegations representing all regions of the world, and a variety of anti-trafficking actors, including judges, law enforcement officials, legal professionals, and representatives of various government ministries charged with combating trafficking in persons.