Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Declaration on the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons, 2001

Sectors : Gender and social development
Organisation : ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States)
Date made: 
2001
Level: 
Ministerial

Commitments in: Other

“We further commit ourselves to...

..5. Adopt, as quickly as possible, such legislative and other measures as that are necessary to establish as criminal offences the trafficking in persons within, between, or from, their territory; to organize, direct, or participate as an accomplice, in this trafficking;

6. Take measures, in close consultation with the countries of origin, transit and destination and with the victims themselves, for the care and repatriation of any of our citizens who have been victims of trafficking whether within the territory of Member States, or outside the ECOWAS sub-region;

7. Implement measures to provide for the protection and physical, psychological and social recovery of victims of trafficking through affording them the full protection of their physical safety, privacy, and human rights;

8. Establish comprehensive policies, programmes, and other measures to prevent and combat trafficking in persons, and to protect victims of trafficking from further victimization;

9. Use of all forms of state and public media to mount public awareness campaigns to educate potential victims of trafficking, their families, and the general population;

10. Provide and strengthen sensitization and training for government officials, particularly law enforcement personnel, customs and immigration officials, prosecutors and judges, and other relevant officials on the prevention of trafficking in persons and on the investigation and prosecution of related crimes;

11. Create specialized anti-trafficking units within law enforcement agencies and within the prosecutorial services, with a special view to fight the involvement of organized criminal groups;

12. Strengthen border controls, without prejudice to our Protocols and other international commitments to the free movement of people, as may be necessary to prevent and control trafficking in persons;

13. Undertake to initiate or expand efforts to gather and analyze data on the situation, magnitude, nature, and economics of trafficking in persons, particularly of women and children, and on the means and methods used in the trafficking of persons;

14. Exchange such information among law enforcement and other agencies of our Member States, as well as with other countries of origin, transit and destination, and with the United Nations, and other relevant international organizations;

15. Support and cooperate with national institutions, including local communities, civil society and relevant non-governmental organizations in their activities against trafficking in persons;

16. Strengthen preventive measures, including educational and social measures within each Member State to discourage the demand in trafficked persons, especially women and children, and to assist countries of destination in the development and implementation of similar measures;

17. Call upon those States where persons, particularly women and children, have been trafficked from the ECOWAS sub-region, to make efforts to reduce the demand in their countries for such persons;

18. Direct the ECOWAS Secretariat to forge close links with the Member States’ task forces on trafficking in persons, in order to achieve better coordination of the control of trafficking in persons in the sub-region, and for that purpose to establish an ECOWAS unit for the coordination of the efforts to combat trafficking in persons;

19. Direct the ECOWAS Secretariat to take appropriate action for the preparation of a sub-regional convention against trafficking, with special focus on trafficking in children and women;

20. Invite States and funding agencies, as well as relevant intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, and those international industrial and commercial organizations who use the human and natural resources of our States, to provide financial and material assistance, including the provision of expertise, to support ECOWAS States in their anti-trafficking efforts;

Therefore...

...21. Adopt the ECOWAS Initial Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons 2002-2003 annexed to this Declaration;

22. Declare that we will undertake all necessary efforts to fully implement the ECOWAS Initial Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons 2002-2003...”

Scope: 
Regional Africa