UPR: Combating Human Trafficking and
Protecting the Human Rights of Women and Girls

I am thankful to all of you who participated and supported the local consultation. We have a total of 11 UPR stakeholder reports from UNA-USA, UNA-USA chapters. The UNA-USA has submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Office the reports, but also make them available to all of us. Please find attached our comprehensive report for the SoCal and also see below the link with all the consultation done nationwide by UNA-USA. Here is the link to UNA-USA, UNA-USA Chapter, and UNA-USA partner UPR reports:
UPR Consultation Reports

"Combating Human Trafficking and Protecting the Human Rights of Women and Girls"

OVERVIEW

The United Nations proclaimed and adopted in 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is declared that:

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights

  • No one shall be held in servitude or slavery.
  • No one shall be subjected to cruel or to torture, degrading or inhuman treatment or punishment.

Violations of human rights are both a cause and a consequence of trafficking in persons. Accordingly, it is essential to place the protection of all human rights at the center of any measures taken to prevent and end trafficking. Antitrafficking measures should not adversely affect the human rights and dignity of persons and, in particular, the rights of those who have been trafficked, migrants, internally displaced persons, refugees and asylum seekers.

(Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking - recommendation, 2014)

Specifically, women and children are affected, as the UN High Commissioner Kyung-Wha Kang for Human Rights stated, “human trafficking violates the most fundamental of rights we all hold dear: the right to life, to equality, dignity, and security; the right to health; the right to freedom of movement, freedom from violence and abuse, the right to be recognized as a person before the law."

(Trafficking in Women and Girls: Meeting the Challenge Together Conference - speech, ECOSOC Chamber United Nations, New York 5 March 2007)

BACKGROUND

According to Polaris the number of reported cases of human trafficking has increased dramatically. It is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. It has grown 842% in the United States since 2007 (Polaris, 2018). Unfortunately, California and Nevada have become the main hubs for traffickers in the United States. It is a profitable global business that is estimated $150 billion-a-year (Becerra, 2019). Modern day slavery is part of human trafficking, it exploits and takes advantage of vulnerable individuals such as children, women and minorities. It is important to make the distinction between human trafficking and prostitution. “Human trafficking specifically involves controlling a person or group through force, fraud, or coercion to exploit the victims for forced labor, sexual exploitation, or both. Human trafficking violates the U.S promise that every person is free and guaranteed basic human rights “(Becerra, 2019).

Specifically in California, in 2013, “the State enacted Senate Bill 1193 (SB 1193, Steinberg. Human trafficking: public posting requirements), which added Section 52.6 to the California Civil Code. Section 52.6 mandates that specified businesses and other establishments are required to post a model notice created by the Attorney General’s Office. This model notice must include information related to support and services available to human trafficking victims and be posted in a conspicuous place in full view of the public. “(California legislative information, 2013). Later, two additional measures were passed in 2017, Senate Bill 225 ( Senator Henry Stern) and Senate Bill 260 (Assembly member Miguel Santiago), updating and improving the hot line for trafficking to include text message (SB 225). While Bill 260 added more business to the list that are required to post a model notice such as hotels, motels, inns, and bed and breakfast (AB 260) (Stern, 2017). However, despite many efforts to ending human trafficking, we still need to continue working on fulfilling the promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Right adopted in 1948 at the General Assembly and translated into over 500 languages: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” (Universal Declaration of Human rights). Human trafficking violates all the articles in this declaration, and this is the reason why it is important to close the gaps. Our consultation focused mainly on understanding better what entities we recognized as main actors working against human trafficking in the Los Angeles are and Orange County. We wanted to better understand what is working and what is not in order to find better solutions.

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Here is the link to UNA-USA, UNA-USA Chapter, and UNA-USA partner UPR reports:

UPR Consultation Reports

For more information contact:

Isabel Treidl
ITreidlunausa@gmail.com
UNA-SoCal Chair, Young Professionals

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