UNODC releases new tools for UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol implementation

The UNODC has released its new Model Legislative Provisions and Legislative Guide against Trafficking in Persons to support governments to draft, strengthen or amend national laws to address human trafficking.

These publications are a revision of tools first launched sixteen years ago, and incorporate progress made since then to implement the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, the world’s primary legal instrument to combat human trafficking.

Developments include new approaches to key concepts of the Protocol such as addressing the rights and needs of victims and an improved understanding of how to practically apply the trafficking in persons definition.

In addition, the revised publications take into account new laws from a large number of countries in different geographical regions and practical experience in the use of existing laws.

“We hope these materials and UNODC’s related support will contribute to an increased number of investigations and prosecutions of trafficking in persons cases,” says John Brandolino, Director of the UNODC Division for Treaty Affairs.

The Model Legislative Provisions comprises a detailed commentary, legal sources and examples of application for each provision, providing several options for legislators.

The Legislative Guide explains the context, content, meaning, and interpretation of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and provides guidance in the drafting of legislation.

The Protocol, adopted 20 years ago, is the first legally binding instrument with an internationally recognized definition of trafficking in persons, with 178 States parties to date.

Countries that ratify this treaty must criminalize human trafficking and develop anti-trafficking laws in line with the Protocol’s legal provisions.

They must provide protection and assistance to victims of human trafficking and ensure that their rights are fully respected.

“If we want to eradicate human trafficking, we must have a solid legal framework to combat it at the country level,” says John Brandolino.