Trafficked Persons – Victims of Rights Violations

Trafficked Persons – More Than Instruments of Criminal Investigation

In a recent report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, warned that “trafficked persons are often seen as ‘instruments’ of criminal investigation, rather than as holders of rights.”

“In many States, trafficked persons do not receive remedies in a holistic manner as a matter of right, but are only provided with ad hoc measures which are predominantly aimed at facilitating criminal investigation,” said Ms. Ezeilo during the presentation of her report of the right to an effective remedy for trafficked persons to the UN Human Rights Council. The independent expert was critical of such ad hoc measures as temporary residence permits contingent upon cooperation with law enforcement authorities and recovery assistance which is in turn tied to temporary residence permits.

“Trafficked persons are rarely known to have received compensation, as they are often not provided with the information, legal and other assistance and residence status necessary to access it,” the Special Rapporteur said. “At worst, many trafficked persons are wrongly identified as irregular migrants, detained and deported before they have an opportunity to even consider seeking remedies.”

The full report can be accessed here.

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