Strategic objective D.3.
Eliminate trafficking in women and assist victims of violence due to prostitution and trafficking
Actions to be taken
130. By Governments of countries of origin, transit and destination, regional and international organizations, as appropriate:
- Consider the ratification and enforcement of international conventions on trafficking in persons and on slavery;
Beijing Declaration (1995)
The specific stipulations here deal with some of the more gruesome cases of violence against women with trafficking and prostitution. The questions about choice are not the consideration here, as these women will often have none – and this may be a significant majority of the cases. Thus, the questions, often only in libertarian social outlooks amongst 18-to-35-year-old men, simply skip over the considerations of legalized work or not.
Here, we have the serious issue of a massive crime against women and girls as individuals en masse, and, thus, as a grouping or sub-demographic in the world. The Canadian Women’s Foundation notes that forced prostitution and the sexual exploitation of girls and women is a problem around the world and in Canadian society as well.
The trafficking is illegal, a human rights violation, and described as an “extreme form of violence against women.” When we try to skim over this issue when we’re thinking of pornography, a pornified society, or legal sex work, it is, conveniently, leaving aside the serious issue to do with the human rights violations around this.
The particular stipulation here, in the Beijing Declaration, is as relevant now as in 1995 when it was first formulated. Here, we can look into the ways that girls and women, as, basically, slaves, are – literally – bought and sold and then trafficked in Canada and around the world.
The international community is clear on this subject matter. It, apparently, only becomes an issue when mostly young males in Western societies who seem to ignore the obvious ethical implications of the situation here.
To be absolutely clear, this is labeled an extreme form of violence against women and, therefore, should rank high on the priority list of consideration; whereas, we have a select demographic focusing on the opposite case of legal prostitution, which does seem to indicate an inversion of the consideration of what is salient as an ethical consideration and what is not. The myopia of consideration is not fooling anyone; it is happening around the world in cases of rights violations and abuses of girls and women, then the question is about legality?
There is trafficking and forced prostitution inside of Canadian society and across borders. Girls and women who are bought and sold, where the marginalized sectors of the society, e.g., Aboriginal, racialized, immigrant, and abuse survivors, are the far more likely to be the ones to be trafficked than others.
With the development of communications technologies, as has been noted recently via in memoriams of the humanist and homosexual Alan Turing, the internet has provided a wide range of benefits to much of the planet’s population with accessibility to the entirety of human knowledge for potential use in educational curricula or the possible utility in the improvement of communal life somehow.
In addition to this, we can see minuses via the various facets of the fourth edge of technological warfare with the cybersecurity concerns and such, but also this has been a negative with the anonymity too.
That is to say, it is providing a basis for the trafficking efforts that are the basis of evil acts and black market industries to flourish, thrive, and continue to further their machinations, of the, in essence, dehumanization of girls and women.
In fact, the traffickers, in Canada, can gain about 280,000CAD per annum for each girl or woman that trafficked or forced into prostitution. If under the age of 18, then there is a higher return on investment for the traffickers. This is the language that may well be used within the community of traffickers: clinical, calculating, and dehumanizing, where girls and women are not individuals with rights and privileges, responsibilities and obligations, hopes and dreams, and community and familial bonds and connections. They are tools of the trade and items to be traded on the black market of trafficking, make no mistake about it.
Based on reports and consultations with 250 organizations and 150 survivors of sex trafficking, the Canadian Women’s Foundation found that “many girls in Canada are first trafficked into forced prostitution when they are 13-years-old.”
Sex trafficking has been properly termed “modern day slavery” by many and, in fact, this is a precise and powerful image about the ways in which sex trafficking can produce a variety of rights violations, bodily abuses, and long-term damage and, potentially, lost lives akin to slavery during the height of the industry of cotton. In fact, the statement or phrase may not go far enough; it is not simply an image. It is a visceral reality for thousands and thousands of girls and women around the world; it should be felt.
Some questions may arise about the statistics of the modern day slavery of sex trafficking and forced prostitution. 78% of Canadians, based on a National Angus Reid public opinion poll, agree that girls under the age of 16 are not in prostitution by choice; 67% of Canadians consider girls in Canada under the age of 16 are being recruited or trafficked into prostitution against their will; another 70% see women brought to Canada from other countries as forced into prostitution against their will.
The national consciousness is there. It is the incipient consciousness; one that simply needs a little push for some mass activism on this huge rights violation happening in our doorstep, or to other nationalities brought into our own corridors. This is a case for pause and reflection.
If we look into the various international conventions, which, as you may surmise, is a lot of them. The basic emphasis is the need not only to have them as symbols of international consensus or consideration of what is the problem – its parameters – but also what to do about it. It is, once more, an ethically elementary position; the world got together, talked it over, wrote down the ideas, signed some documents with the concepts and solutions on them, and then… simply need to instantiate and implement the proposed solutions for the reduction and eventual elimination of (extreme) violence against women.
That’s it. This stipulation is built within this framework. The international community got together and agreed; now, act on it.
- 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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Led by: Scott Douglas Jacobsen
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