Survivors Require Long-term Assistance

Maria Grazia Giammarinaro

In a report to the UN Human Rights Council the UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Dr. Maria Grazia Giammarinaro  notes that rather than the current short term interventions survivors need long-term protection and assistance. She reminds States that social inclusion of victims and survivors of trafficking in persons is an obligation that stems from the due diligence standard and the right to effective remedy. The report also identifies key challenges related to long-term social inclusion, and highlights some promising practices that are innovative and transformative, which should be replicated, funded and implemented on a larger scale, by States, civil society organizations and the international community.

“Regaining physical and psychological integrity, self-esteem and independence, for people who have been subjected to serious human rights violations, is a long road. This is all the more true for trafficked persons, who have often faced physical and psychological violence, long-term social isolation, emotional distress, and deprivation of liberty and self-determination. However, existing protection measures in most countries are not consistent with the objective of promoting trafficked persons’ social inclusion. Most States provide trafficking victims with services that not only are designed for short-term assistance but also are conditional upon victims’ cooperation with the criminal justice system. On the contrary, from a human rights standpoint, and with a view to promoting social inclusion, services and residence status should be not only non-conditional, but also should be disconnected from the very existence of criminal proceedings, as trafficked persons are entitled to effective remedies regardless of whether perpetrators have been prosecuted or punished.”

Download a copy of the full report here.

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