Some extremely alarming figures have led the FIDH to publish a special report on the issue of trafficking of human beings and prostitution. According to the International Migrants’ Organisation (IMO), today some 4 million people are victims of this modern "slave trade" world-wide, 500,000 of them entering Western Europe. The sex and prostitution business is closely linked to this modern form of "slave trade", although prostitution does not necessarily need to be linked to trafficking. At the International Women’s Conference in Beijing in 1995, the concept of "sexual slavery" was recognized and thus helped to abandon the fight against procuring. Today, the figures cannot be denied, showing that the bodies of women, men and children are an integral part of world trade. Reaffirming the basic principles by which we are linked together is not enough. To enable us to respond effectively, it is vital to know the figures and issues involved in this debate. This is the aim of this special report.
The first problem resides in the definition of "trafficking in human beings" which is at the centre of the negotiations on the additional protocol to the United Nations Convention Against Organised Cross-border Crime, the final sessions of which took place in Vienna from 6th - 8th June.
The second question revolves around prostitution and new forms of prostitution.
These problems are analysed in further detail in the present article.
What can be done to prevent and fight against an evolving system which is totally defiant of human dignity, what can we be done to prosecute the guilty and protect and support victims? The FIDH felt that it had to make its contribution ....