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UN Committee calls for the suppression of trafficking in women and girls in the digital age

Geneva – In the General Recommendation released today, the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) found that women and girls are still the biggest victims of trafficking around the world, despite the existing legal and policy frameworks against trafficking in human beings. national and international levels.

The committee stressed that the reality of trafficking in women and girls now extends far beyond the real world, pointing to recent trends in cyberspace. The committee said the development of social media and chat programs to provide easy access to potential victims when traffickers could no longer use traditional ways to recruit women and girls for sexual exploitation during COVID-19 locks.

“The global pandemic has highlighted the urgent need to address the use of digital technology in and against human trafficking,” said Dalia Leinarte, the committee member who led the drafting of the general recommendation.

CEDAW called on social media and messaging to put in place relevant controls to reduce the risk of women and girls being trafficked and sexually exploited. The company also requested that their big data be used to identify merchants and stakeholders involved.

“Fighting trade also means discouraging demand,” Leinarte stressed.

The experts urged governments to address the root causes that put women and girls in vulnerable situations. These fundamental problems lie in gender-based discrimination, including socio-economic injustices in home countries, gender-biased migration policies and asylum systems abroad, as well as conflict and humanitarian emergencies.

“Human trafficking is a sex crime, which is closely linked to sexual exploitation,” Leinarte said, adding: “State parties must create appropriate conditions to ensure that women and girls are free from human trafficking.”

The committee called on public policy to provide women with autonomy and equal access to education and employment. It also called for a gender-responsive safe migration framework to protect women and girls migrants. The committee stressed the importance of comprehensive protection and assistance systems to assist displaced women and girls in conflict and emergencies.

“The fight against trafficking in women and girls in the context of global migration requires a greater protection framework due to international humanitarian law, refugee law, criminal law, labor and international private law,” the committee stressed in the general recommendation.

The full document is now available online.

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