CEDAW General Recommendation on Trafficking of Women and Girls in the Context of Global Migration (TWGCGM) (2019-2020)
In 2019, CEDAW (Committee on The Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) called for contributions to its draft general recommendations on TWGCGM. The ECP’s written submission outlined the context of trafficking and sex work in the UK, including the impact of Brexit, the Government’s policy of austerity cuts and a hostile environment for migrants which forces women into prostitution to survive. The submission also reveals how the extent of trafficking in the UK is deliberately exaggerated to justify crackdowns on sex workers, targeting immigrant sex workers for raids and deportations while victims get little or no help when reporting violence and exploitation.
The ECP outlines a range of recommendations, from enforcing existing laws to protect victims in any industry to recognising sex workers as workers to enable women to demand labour protections. It notes that an effective anti-trafficking strategy has to start by looking at the reasons that women decide to cross international borders and the Government’s role in enabling and encouraging trafficking.
In 2020, on completion of its draft, CEDAW called for comments on its recommendations on TWGCGM.. The ECP wrote in support of the submission from Empower Foundation, Thailand, and provided further evidence opposing the committee’s reference to “end demand” by providing evidence on how this would undermine women’s safety.