Strategic objective D.3.
Eliminate trafficking in women and assist victims of violence due to prostitution and trafficking
Actions to be taken
134. In a world of continuing instability and violence, the implementation of cooperative approaches to peace and security is urgently needed. The equal access and full participation of women in power structures and their full involvement in all efforts for the prevention and resolution of conflicts are essential for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. Although women have begun to play an important role in conflict resolution, peace-keeping and defence and foreign affairs mechanisms, they are still underrepresented in decision-making positions. If women are to play an equal part in securing and maintaining peace, they must be empowered politically and economically and represented adequately at all levels of decision-making.
Beijing Declaration (1995)
Continuing on from the previous session, we can note the ways in which the world of sexual trafficking and prostitution, or paid sexual exploitation and slavery without consent, leave women and girls with brutal, harsh, and miserable lives. The prior context was conflict or territorial aggression, and also the annexation or taking over of land in an illegitimate way.
As noted in the outset of these particular paragraphs, we look at the instability and violence in specific circumstances, which can lead to the conditions in which women can be subjected to the issues of prostitution and sexual trafficking. Typically, with a reduction in the level of peace and security in a region, or a country, the lesser access to equality in the society for the women.
These, in the terminology of the Beijing Declaration (1995), amount to the power structures of the society. Indicatively, this amounts to some feminist, or specifically power-oriented feminisms, analysis of the context of peace and security and gender equality. When we look at the full participation of the women in the efforts for the prevention and resolution of conflicts, as per United Nations stipulations and news reports, they have become integral to the full equality of women within the society.
Thusly, women become important to the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. As we reflect on some of the earlier, and more recent stipulations, we can develop insight into the self-preservation and self-interest of women in the encouragement of peace and security in general, as more men commit atrocities in the world and more women & girls remain the civilian casualties of conflict.
However, this self-interest and self-preservation of women become the benefit of societies in the reduction of the numbers dead or murdered, or killed in combat, in war and the associated atrocities, where fewer rape victims exist and then the intergenerational contexts with the children of rape and the obliteration of families/family links.
But looking at the ways in which we can find the urgency stipulated on the cooperative approaches to peace and security, and in the necessity on the inclusion of women in these power structures or decision-making apparatus, another – and something I didn’t think about enough – was the defence and foreign affairs mechanism of the societies or the governments, hopefully, representative of the best collective will of the citizenry in the societies.
If we take the Canadian context, we can note the ways in which the Hon. Chrystia Freeland works in this domain for human rights cases. At the same time, we can, also, see this in a general context, whether with the current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or in the instance of the Official Opposition party leader in the Conservative Party of Canada with Andrew Scheer. Both will have stances informed by ideological orientations on the funding and aims of the defence and foreign affairs apportionments and outreach portions from Canadian society, respectively.
One of the important notes almost a quarter of a century ago is the importance of women in the important decision-making aspects of peace and security (and defence and foreign affairs) mechanisms within a society, which would mean the inclusion, deliberate policy oriented as such and moving the dial towards this, of women in important junctures and positions for the improved status of the world’s girls and women – as the majority of the victims of war, i.e., civilian victims of violent aggression, in immediate effects and derivatives – and, therefore, the status of the world’s populations most vulnerable to war. This may require a metaphorical breaking of the back on the knee of the intolerable, to most women, innate trait and prime weak spot of males: vanity and pride – intolerable as they tend to have more sense.
All levels of decision making for political and economic empowerment – and this form of empowerment for better representation politically and economically, presumably. What comes of this? The improved status of women and girls, reduction of war, increase in peace and security, and the different approach, apparently, to the defence and foreign affairs orientations of nation-states. Fewer wars means fewer civilians in sex trafficking, full stop.
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Preamble, Article 16, and Article 25(2).
- Convention Against Discrimination in Education (1960) in Article 1.
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) in Article 3, Article 7, and Article 13.
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966).
- Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979).
- Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984).
- The Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the optional protocol (1993).
- Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), Five-year review of progress (2000), 10-year review in 2005, the 15-year review in 2010, and the 20-year review in 2015.
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), and the UN Security Council additional resolutions on women, peace and security: 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013), 2122 (2013), and 2242 (2015).
- Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (2000).
- The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa or the “Maputo Protocol” (2003).
- Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence or the Istanbul Convention (2011) Article 38 and Article 39.
- UN Women’s strategic plan, 2018–2021
- 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- 2015 agenda with 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (169 targets for the end to poverty, combatting inequalities, and so on, by 2030). The SDGs were preceded by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from 2000 to 2015.
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