Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
June 4, 2009


Organization of American States
(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 4, 2009)

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

BEARING IN MIND resolutions AG/RES. 2019 (XXXIV-O/04), AG/RES. 2026 (XXXIV-O/04), and AG/RES. 2118 (XXXV-O/05), as well as resolutions AG/RES. 2256 (XXXVI-O/06) and AG/RES. 2348 (XXXVII-O/07), on hemispheric efforts to combat trafficking in persons, which recalled “the governments’ commitment to improve their capacity to identify, investigate, prosecute, and punish those responsible for trafficking in persons, especially in women and children, and to provide due assistance and protection to the victims,” and the recommendations of the Sixth and the Seventh Meeting of Ministers of Justice or Other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA-VI and REMJA-VII);

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the conclusions and recommendations of the First Meeting of National Authorities on Trafficking in Persons, held on Isla Margarita, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in March 2006;

RECOGNIZING the importance of the results of the Second Meeting of National Authorities on Trafficking in Persons, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from March 25 to 27, 2009, in particular the adoption of its document “Conclusions and Recommendations of the Second Meeting of National Authorities on Trafficking in Persons” (RTP-II/doc.5/09 rev. 9), which expresses the political will of the member states to strengthen regional and international cooperation to combat this serious crime;

BEARING IN MIND the commitment assumed by the member states to improve their capacity for identifying, investigating, prosecuting, and punishing those responsible for trafficking in persons, especially in women and children, and to provide due assistance and protection to the victims, in the framework of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention);

UNDERSCORING the continuing concern about the growing problem of trafficking in persons expressed by our Heads of State and Government in Summits of the Americas and in summits of the Rio Group, the member states of MERCOSUR and Associated States, the Andean Community, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), and the Central American Integration System (SICA), as well as in Ibero-American Summits and in Latin America and Caribbean-European Union Summits, which reaffirmed the commitment to promote effective measures to prevent and combat this crime;

CONSIDERING:

That trafficking in persons is one of the most lucrative illicit activities in the world;

That, given its specific characteristics, trafficking in persons affects and endangers primarily the most vulnerable groups and has a devastating impact on victims, depriving them of the enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms;

That poverty, inequity, and social exclusion are some of the factors that increase the vulnerability of persons, especially children and adolescents, to becoming victims of traffickers and smugglers, who often belong to organized criminal groups that operate at both domestic and transnational levels; and

That the fight against trafficking in persons must be addressed from a human rights and a gender perspective;

RECOGNIZING the important role of civil society in efforts to combat trafficking in persons;

NOTING WITH SATISFACTION the document “Conclusions and Recommendations of the Civil Society Preparatory Meeting for the Second Meeting of National Authorities on Trafficking in Persons” (March 3-4, 2009, RTP-II/doc.7/09);

BEARING IN MIND that all states are obligated to act with due diligence to prevent and investigate trafficking in persons and punish those responsible, to rescue victims and take the necessary actions to protect them, and to avoid any negative impact on victims’ enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms;

AWARE of the need to draw attention to the negative behavior of the so-called clients or users of trafficking in persons for purposes of sexual exploitation;

AWARE ALSO of the importance of an attitude of shared responsibility among countries of origin, transit, and destination for cases of international trafficking for purposes including labor or sexual exploitation;

CONVINCED:

That trafficking in persons is a serious global problem that requires broad, multidisciplinary international cooperation among all countries; and

That hemispheric efforts to combat trafficking in persons must be geared toward the adoption of concrete measures to prevent the crime and provide protection and comprehensive assistance to victims, guaranteeing them the enjoyment of, and full respect for, human rights both nationally and internationally, and toward the strengthening of measures to pursue criminal organizations, as well as the investigation, prosecution, and punishment of the crime; and

RECALLING that the Second Meeting of National Authorities on Trafficking in Persons decided to entrust the General Secretariat with preparing a draft work plan, to be considered by the Committee on Hemispheric Security, bearing in mind the progress made at the subregional level, as well as at the international level, avoiding duplication of effort and generating enhanced coordination,

RESOLVES:

1. To reinforce the effective implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention) and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and to reaffirm the commitment of the member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) to fight the crime of trafficking in persons, by means of a comprehensive approach that takes into account the prevention of trafficking, prosecution of its perpetrators, protection of and assistance to its victims and respect for their human rights, and strengthening of international cooperation in the area.

2. To welcome the conclusions and recommendations of the Second Meeting of National Authorities on Trafficking in Persons (RTP-II/doc.5/09 rev. 10), held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from March 25 to 27, 2009, which are part of this resolution.

3. To request the General Secretariat to prepare a draft work plan to be considered by the Committee on Hemispheric Security, based on the conclusions and recommendations of the First and the Second Meeting of National Authorities on Trafficking in Persons, and other relevant provisions of the OAS, bearing in mind the achievements at the subregional and international levels, avoiding duplication of effort and generating enhanced coordination.

4. To encourage member states to take the necessary measures to implement the conclusions and recommendations of the Second Meeting of National Authorities on Trafficking in Persons.

5. To urge member states to promote measures that help draw attention to the negative behavior of so-called clients or users, as they are the ones who fuel the cycle of sexual exploitation and bear responsibility for creating demand for trafficking in persons for purposes of sexual exploitation.

6. To urge those member states that have not yet done so to consider ratifying, acceding to, or accepting, as the case may be, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention) and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, as well as other initiatives and actions intended to prevent trafficking in persons, prosecute its perpetrators, and protect and assist its victims.

7. To encourage the member states to strengthen immediate operational contacts for expeditious information exchange making possible direct and timely communication that contributes to the investigation of the crime of trafficking in persons.

8. To recognize the important role of civil society in combating trafficking in persons and to recommend that member states reinforce dialogue and cooperation with civil society organizations in their efforts to combat this crime.

9. To request the Permanent Council to report to the General Assembly at its forty-first regular session on the implementation of this resolution, the execution of which shall be subject to the availability of financial resources in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources.