Newly Appointed UN Special Rapporteur Brings Hope: Human Rights for Sex Workers and Migrants

The information below was posted on the website from the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women. The appointment of Ms. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo Emekekwue of Nigeria is a very positive step . The former UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Sigma Huda, was clearly at odds with a human rights agenda. Quoting below, you see she was “criticized by human rights and anti-trafficking groups for not being based on the core human rights conventions or on a verifiable evidence base, and for being biased and ideologically driven in their approach to trafficking.” Sigma Huda, who worked in conjunction with CATW (Coalition Against Trafficking in Women), is now in prison.

We can hope that this appointment might have a substantial effect on international responses to trafficking.

For more information about Sigma Huda:
http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=1694

Carol Leigh,
http://www.bayswan.org/traffick/

Good News from the Secretariat OF GAATW

from The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) http://www.gaatw.net/

We are writing to share the wonderful news that Ms. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo Emekekwue of Nigeria has been selected as the new Special Rapporteur on Trafficking.

This decision still has to be approved and confirmed by the Human Rights Council on Wednesday 18 June, so it is not official until that date. However, we still wanted to share the news and send our many thanks to you for your rapid support for Joy. Our letter of endorsement was supported by 82 signatories from around the world! Thank you for all your support.

In solidarity,
GAATW International Secretariat
http://www.gaatw.net/

The information below was included in the GAATW recommendation for this candidate.

“The Special Rapporteur has the power to play a valuable role in identifying the human rights violations that make certain people, often women and children, vulnerable to trafficking, as well as the violations that occur during and after the trafficking process. In addition, the Special Rapporteur can also advise states about how to centre the rights of trafficked persons in anti-trafficking strategies. An enormous amount of work remains to be done in this area.”

“To date, however, the Special Procedure on trafficking has been profoundly disappointing and even detrimental to the situation of trafficked persons. For the past one year, the mandate-holder has been in prison on charges of corruption, leaving the mandate effectively inactive. Furthermore, the thematic reports produced in the first two years of her mandate, when she was still in office, were criticized by human rights and anti-trafficking groups for not being based on the core human rights conventions or on a verifiable evidence base, and for being biased and ideologically driven in their approach to trafficking.”

“…we support the candidature of Joy Ngozi Ezeilo Emekekwue. She has a strong human rights academic and advocacy background and a record of grassroots research and advocacy. She has experience in working with governments, as per her appointment as the Honorable Commissioner for Women’s Affairs and Social Development in Enugu State, Nigeria, as well as excellent experience in writing, research and analysis on women’s human rights issues throughout her academic career.”

“Her human rights experience in Nigeria, a significant origin country for women trafficked to Europe, and a destination country for men, women and children trafficked from around West Africa, places her in a unique position of understanding both of the imperatives that drive people into trafficking situations, and the need for better protections in destination countries.”

One Response

  1. Wow, this is big! I had no idea that Sigma Huda was facing corruption charges. I’ve been so greatly disappointed with the UN lately for taking CAATW so seriously and not standing up for sex workers’ rights. I figured it had something to do with recent scandals involving UN peacekeepers and prostitutes.

    It would be nice if they could take a stand against the rabid anti-sex work organizations that hide behind the anti-trafficking banner and focus on the true victims of trafficking. If they want to help prostitutes they can tackle unfair labor practices and police harassment; distribute free condoms and offer safer-sex training. I know the US makes all kinds of threats, but we’re about to get knocked out of the cat-bird seat, and we can’t afford to be making enemies with the rest of the world.

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