To successfully combat THB, its root causes must be addressed. Demand for goods and services that could be produced by or extracted from trafficked persons provides traffickers with the economic incentive for pursing the crime. It is that demand that fosters exploitation leading to trafficking, as it guarantees a market for those goods and services. Demand also serves as a direct and indirect cause of harm to victims, as it places them in situations that cause physical, mental and emotional trauma as well as other harms. Discouraging demand is therefore critical in both protecting victims from harm and addressing the business model of trafficking.
The financial scale of demand that fosters exploitation is immense. THB generates an estimated $150 billion in profit for traffickers each year, of which approximately 95% is related to trafficking for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation. The market for goods and services produced by or extracted from victims generates a substantial incentive for traffickers to identify and exploit new victims. Yet while this money is paid to traffickers, it is paid by users of trafficking victims and purchasers of good and services produced by trafficking victims. To stop this cycle of exploitation from occurring, and prevent vulnerable persons from becoming trafficked, methods of prevention must be enacted which proactively counter and reduce the commercial incentives for trafficking, including the demand for goods and services which can be produced by or extracted from trafficking victims. In short, the entities and individuals who knowingly or unknowingly purchase goods and services from trafficking victims, e.g. individuals, companies and governments, must stop doing so if efforts to eradicate THB are to be successful.
The 21th Alliance against Trafficking in Persons Conference will take place in Vienna and via Zoom (upon registration) on 14-16 June 2021.
The 21st Conference of the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons will put a spotlight on addressing demand as a means of prevention – and specifically on discouraging the demand that fosters trafficking for the purposes of labour and sexual exploitation as a core, long-term strategy towards ending THB. The conference will aim to raise high-level attention to the international obligations States have to discourage that demand, discuss the value of this approach as a method of prevention, provide States with knowledge of effective tools, and offer guidance on how to implement such tools in order to meet their international obligations and commitments.
The Alliance against Trafficking in Persons Conference is an annual gathering of key stakeholders from across the OSCE region aiming to raise the political profile of the fight against trafficking in human beings (THB) and discuss emerging topics and trends in this area. With participation from national authorities, as well as international and civil society organizations, the Alliance helps to co-ordinate and amplify the efforts of all stakeholders toward the common goal of preventing and combating human trafficking. Since its establishment in 2004 as a framework for advocacy and co-operation, the Alliance has supported OSCE participating States in developing a robust, harmonized approach to combat THB that seeks to protect human rights, security, the rule of law and good governance throughout the region.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic related restrictions, the Conference will be conducted primarily online, with limited in person participation for Vienna based delegations, and bring the entire OSCE anti-trafficking community together virtually via ZOOM. Registration will be open until Thursday 10 June, 17:00 CEST (UTC/GMT+2) via https://events.osce.org/2021-21st-alliance-against-trafficking/registration. After registration, participants will receive an invitation with a link to the Zoom meeting. The registration site will be closed after the deadline. If you are not registered, you will not be allowed into the meeting.
Participants who wish to take the floor during the sessions may send their request in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org until 14 June at 13:30 (Vienna time, GMT+2). Participants can also follow the Alliance Conference on Twitter with #CTHB21. Ahead of the Conference, please use #askOSCE to send questions related to the Conference’s topic.