Scarlet Alliance written submission to the CEDAW Discussion on the General Recommendation on Trafficking in Women and Girls in the Context of Global Migration on August 22, 2022.
“As highlighted by the Concept Note prepared for the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women on its elaboration of a General Recommendation on Trafficking in Women and Girls in the Context of Global Migration (the Concept Note), the aim of the General Recommendations is to provide State parties guidance in fulfilling Article 6 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Article 6 obliges states to ‘suppress all forms of trafficking in women and girls, ensuring that the human rights of women and girls are respected, protected and fulfilled in accordance with international law’.1 Sex workers ongoing experience of criminalisation, deportation, discrimination and stigma as well as human rights violations in the guise of anti-trafficking interventions signal the crucial need for legislative and policy reform. Sex workers need an inclusive approach to ‘gender sensitive’ anti-trafficking responses that are sex worker driven; center the agency and human rights of sex workers; advocate for rights-based approaches to sex work regulation; provide access to safe migration pathways; ensures full labor rights; and provides access to peer and culturally sensitive sex worker services. Given that anti-trafficking measures around the world have disproportionately focused on the sex industry and have perpetuated exploitation and human rights violations rather than correct it, protecting sex workers’ rights is imperative to achieving gender equality and fulfilling the human rights of women and girls as defined under CEDAW.”