Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use by force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving and receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;



a)      The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation set forth in subparagraph a) of this article shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth in subparagraph a) have been used;


b)      The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered “trafficking in persons” even if this does not involve any of the means set forth insubparagraph a) of this article;


c)      “Child” shall mean any person under eighteen years of age. Based on the above definition of the UN Protocol, the National Plan of Action on the Elimination of Trafficking in Women and Children, formulated by Presidential Decree No: 88 Year 2002, defines trafficking as “trafficking in persons encompassing all forms of action undertaken by perpetrators of trafficking that have one or more elements of recruiting, transporting between regions and countries, transferring, sending, receiving and temporary placement or placement at their destination of people by using threats, verbal and physical abuse,abduction, fraud, deception, misuse of vulnerability (e.g. if someone has no alternative, is isolated, is addicted to drugs, trapped in debt), giving or receiving payments or profits in cases in which a person is used for prostitution and sexual exploitation (including paedophilia), legal or illegal migrant workers, child adoptions, fishing platform work, mail order brides, domestic helpers, begging, pornography, drug dealing, selling of body organs as well as other forms of exploitation.”


It is important to provide a clear definition of trafficking lest it be confused with regular migration and people smuggling. Once there is coercion, force or exploitation, migration turns into trafficking. The following description from an ILO publication will contrast the nuances of people smuggling and trafficking:


“In practice, it is not always easy to differentiate between people smuggling and trafficking, because |’voluntary’ agreement may be a result of deception, or may involve an individual or family entering into debt to pay for the travel, debt that puts them at the mercy of the lender. It may result in physical confinement when the human cargo is locked into a vehicle or into a sending or reception centre. It may result in forced labour, where compliance is assured because documents have been confiscated, or by threats of disclosure to the authorities. In these cases, the ‘voluntary’ agreement has become a ticket to trafficking”. International bodies have addressed trafficking and counter-trafficking measures in a variety of declarations, resolutions and other

instruments, such as1:


a. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948.

b. Declaration on the Rights of the Child, 1959.

c.  Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Conference on Human Rights, 1993.

d. Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993.

e.  Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, 1994.

g. World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen, 1995.

h. Beijing Declaration and Platform for Actions of the Fourth World Conference on Women, 1995.

i. ECE Regional Preparatory Meeting on the 2000 Review of Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, 2000.

j. United National General Assembly has, since 1993, adopted a series of resolutions on the Trafficking in Women and Girls and on the Need to Adopt Efficient International Measures for the Prevention, Eradication of the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and on Measures for the Prevention of Smuggling of Aliens.

k. The Economic and Social Council has adopted a series of resolutions, such as the Resolution on Measures to Prevent Illicit International Trafficking in Children and to Establish Penalties Appropriate to Such Offences (1996), the Resolution on Action against Illegal Trafficking in Migrants, Including by Sea (1998), the Resolution on Action to Combat International Trafficking in Women and Children (1998), and the Resolution on Human Rights of Migrants (1999).

l. Commission of Human Rights, since 1996 has adopted several resolutions on “Traffic in Women and Girls”, on “Contemporary Forms of Slavery” and on the “Rights of the Child”, whereby governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and other bodies are called upon to continue and Develop new measures to combat trafficking in women and children.

m. From the office of the Secretary General and the office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights several reports on Traffic in Women and Girls.

n. The Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, as well as the Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery have all reported about trafficking.  


An extract from “Combatting Trafficking in Southeast Asia: A Review of Policy and Programme Responses, a paper prepared by Annuske Derks for IOM, 2000.