Guidelines for National Plans of Action and Background for the Establishment of National Plans of Action (2001)



Guidelines for National Plans of Action to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings












To identify ongoing causes of vulnerability and patterns of trafficking and gaps in existing legislation, policies and services that protect women and children


·   Conduct research on incidence and patterns of trafficking

·   Conduct research on causes of vulnerability

·   Produce, collect and circulate relevant research reports, statistics and information from conferences, relevant government agencies, IGOs, NGOs dealing with trafficking

·   Complete national assessment of policies and legislation which address trafficking

·   Identify gaps in existing structures, policies and legislation and make proposals to close them

·   Regular updates on the situation of trafficking

·   Report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child and Committee on CEDAW on national implementation of CRC and CEDAW including sections on trafficking and sexual exploitation in the reports.

·   Allocate specific funds and resources in national budgets to combat trafficking


Ministries (Social Welfare, Justice, Finance)

Other Government agencies (e.g. Police)

UN agencies (UNDP, ILO, UNICEF, etc)



·   Clear identification of the causes of vulnerability and patterns of trafficking within the country

·   Established and successful resource centre on trafficking issues

·   National appraisal of laws and policies completed

·   Gaps in policies, structures and legislation identified and strategy to overcome them developed

·   Enactment of clear policy guidelines on trafficking in human beings

·   Allocation of funds and resources towards the elimination of trafficking

·   Regular reports to the Committee on CRC and CEDAW by both government and NGOs with a section on trafficking


To ensure public, political, community and official awareness of trafficking in human beings

·   Raise the awareness among politicians and community leaders as well as the general public through information sharing and information campaigns from the perspective of prevention and understanding the situation of victim

·   Dissemination of information (documentation, videos, leaflets)

·   Awareness raising amongst media professionals

·   Ensure wide media coverage on the issue of trafficking


Ministries (Education, Civil Affairs)

Other government institutions (Commission for broadcasting and media)






·  Increased levels of awareness on trafficking issues by the public, politicians, government officials and the community

·  Active and sensitive media coverage of trafficking issues

·  Information campaign tools against trafficking, e.g. posters, leaflets, etc.

·  Increased general awareness of legislation on trafficking, particularly in relation to human rights protections.

·  Codes of Conduct for international workers and peacekeepers

To ensure that women and children are educated to protect themselves against trafficking and sexual exploitation

·   Disseminate information on possibilities of legal migration

·   Ensure curriculum content on CRC and CEDAW

·   Ensure education without gender stereotypes

·   Develop school programmes to target both girls and boys to promote a zero tolerance of violence against women and girls.

·   Provide age appropriate information on sexual relationships, gender sensitivity, and STD and HIV/AIDS prevention in schools, clinics or through community based activities

·   Train teachers on trafficking focusing on prevention and protection


Ministries (Education)



IGOs (CoE, IOM )



·   Information on legal migration widely available and actively distributed (through embassies, newspapers, TV, etc)

·   Curriculum content on child rights in all schools

·   Awareness of non-discriminatory issues

·   Improved knowledge of sexual relationships and risks among young people

·   Reduction of incidences of STDs among young people


Improvement of social and economic conditions of women in the countries of origin

·   Assessment of the position of women in society,

·   Assessment of engagement in the economy of those in vulnerable groups, particularly young women

·   Promote economic re-generation programmes to tackle poverty and unemployment with special attention to those in high risk groups

·   Identification of economic programmes to increase economic empowerment of women.

·   Identification of the extent of family violence and its economic/social consequences for women and children.


Ministries ( e.g. Economy, Social Welfare )

Other government agencies


IGO’s (World Bank, IMF, Stability Pact and other donors)

·   Production of desegregated statistics on employment by sector.

·   Reports on the type and availability of employment

·   Assessment of economic opportunities created in the transition to a market economy with specific attention to sectors in which women plan key economic roles

·   Creating channels of cooperation and exchange of information between institutions working on trafficking issues, migration and organized crime prevention.

·   Job and employment creation for women, including training in new skills, alternative employment or entrepreneurial opportunities


Ensure that laws, policies and practices do not discriminate against women


·   Gender analysis of all legislation, policies and programmes

·   Enforcement of non-discrimination laws in relation to employment, social welfare, access to credit etc.

·   Elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence in the workplace


Ministries (Gender focal points)

Trade Unions.

UN agencies (e.g. OHCHR, ILO)



·   Non-discriminatory laws, policies and practices in place

·   Increase in the numbers of women in remunerated employment.

·   Enforcement of non discrimination laws through legal action or other remedy

·   Dissemination of information and actions taken by governments and NGOs promoting equal opportunity in the workplace

·   Increase in the numbers of women able to participate in the private sector


To reduce factors that make women and children vulnerable to trafficking

·   Adopt policies which actively promote the human rights of women and gender equality, both in the private and public sphere. Particular attention to rights in marriage, arranged marriages, under age marriages etc.

·   Provide vocational and life skills training and/or non formal education for children, especially girls, who leave the regular school system

·   Provide programmes to educate young women and children on the dangers of drug and substance abuse

·   Develop anti corruption programmes for schools.

·   Provide targeted viable income generation programmes for young women at risk, particularly in impoverished rural areas

·   Provide educational, health and psychological services that target high risk groups including sex workers and children without parental care (street children, children in orphanages)

·   Enhance legal migration programmes for women.


Ministries (Economy, Labour)

Other government agencies (Trade Unions, Association of Employers)


UN agencies



·  Reports to CEDAW committee and CRC on measures taken with assessment of impact.

·  Established vocational training centres

·  Use of peer education programmes on the dangers and effects of trafficking and forced commercial sexual exploitation and labour

·  Reduction of drug and substance abuse incidences among adolescents and youth

·  Existence of targeted support programmes for high risk groups



To provide services to protect victims of trafficking

·   Provide safe shelters and reception facilities providing for victims information on their rights

·   Ensure appointment of interpreters in relevant languages

·   Provide legal assistance in their own language

·   Provide social welfare care and support services, including access to health and psychological assistance

·   Train personnel who work with victims of trafficking in gender sensitivity and procedures


Ministries (Human Rights, Interior, Social Welfare, Health)


UN Agencies (e.g. OHCHR)



·  Infrastructure and resources in place to provide shelter to trafficking victims

·  Access to legal, social and health services provided

·  Translators made available

·  Component on gender sensitivity and procedures in personnel training of social services and police.



To ensure the right to return to the countries of origin

·   Ensure the right to return through co-operation agreements

·   Financing the return


Ministries (Human Rights, Foreign Affairs)


International NGOs



·   Bilateral/multilateral co-operation agreements in place to facilitate return

·   Provision of transport, visa and resources available to finance return

To enable women and children victims of trafficking to recover and reintegrate

·   Establish cooperation between reception facilities and NGOs

·   Establish network of NGOs involved in assistance

·   Provide psychosocial counselling and social support to returnees

·   Provide alternative settlement programmes for women and children who choose not to return home, including facilitation of the  right to apply for asylum in appropriate cases.

·   Educate families and communities not to stigmatise or blame victims

·   Ensure special measures for victim’s occupational reintegration

·   Enable victim to claim and extract compensation from their exploiters, and arrange for unbiased supervision of any monies obtained by the victim


Ministries (Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Social Welfare, Labour)





·   Regular meetings and exchanges of information between NGOs and law enforcement agencies

·   Infrastructure and resources available to support counselling programmes and other aspects of reintegration

·   Increased awareness and understanding of factors that make women and children vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation

·   Procedures in place to expedite third country resettlement or integration into the host community

·   Programmes that support children and young women not living at home

·   Alternative income sources available

·   Legislation in place to facilitate compensation



Ensure that there are comprehensive laws that cover all aspects of trafficking in human beings including adequate prosecution of perpetrators and human rights protection of victims, including witness protection


·   Criminalize all forms of trafficking, including penalties for exploiters, procurers, brothel owners and parents who sell their children

·   Legal mechanisms and procedures for implementation of protection

·   Provision of legal aid and legal representation to victims

·   Provision of legal rights to compensation 

·   Right to remain and temporary residence status during legal proceedings

·   Development of alternative investigative techniques, including investigate without the need for victim’s testimony

·   Establishing jurisdiction.


Ministries (interior, Human Rights, Asylum and Immigration, Social welfare and health, Justice)

Other government institutions


UN Agencies  

IGO’s (CoE, OSCE, ODIHR, INTERPOL, SEECI, DYFID, ICMPD, IOM, International Bar Associations)


·  Legislative enactment criminalizing all forms of trafficking

·  No gender bias in laws

·  Legal aid clinics providing services to trafficking victims

·  Witness protection programmes in place.

·  Legal protections ensuring that trafficking victims are not treated as criminals

·  Evidential rules in place to allow prosecution without witness testimony

·  Provision of transport, visa and support arrangements for trafficked persons in another country assisting them to testify


Establish training programmes on trafficking as part of the curriculum for all state agents engaged in combating the problem


·  Special training for social workers, health, teaching, diplomatic, consular, judicial, customs and police personnel

·  Train law enforcement officials (police, prosecutors, judges) to investigate and charge trafficking cases while respecting the rights of women and best interest of the child

·  Training programmes to improve cooperation between police and NGOs

·  Training of lawyers to represent victims of trafficking

·   Train passport control officials, frontier police and immigration authorities to identify traffickers and possible trafficking victims and take appropriate action


Ministries (Education, Social Welfare, Justice, Interior)

Other Government Institution (State Border Service)


UN Agencies (OHCHR)



·  Training modules for officials developed and used

·  Police training modules developed and used

·  In-service training to passport control officials and immigration


Enforcement of law to protect women and children from trafficking

·   Indicate political commitment to enforcement of laws

·   Create specialised police units for proactive detection and prosecution of traffickers

·   Ensure protection of members of organisations assisting the victims during proceedings

·   Prosecute traffickers, their clients and those who assist them for all elements of the crime

·   Prosecute all law enforcement officials involved in or aiding trafficking, including the acceptance of bribes

·   Close down trafficking routes and systems by using information/intelligence gathered from those who have been exploited


Ministries (Education, Social Welfare, Justice, Interior)

Other Government Institutions (State Border Service)


UN Agencies (OHCHR)



·  Public statements by government making clear commitment to enforcement of laws

·  Reports to the CRC and CEDAW

·  Successful investigations and increased convictions of traffickers

·  Specialised police units established and functioning

·  Prosecution of corrupt officials

·  Trafficking routes detected and closed

·  Monitoring system in place for known trafficking routes.


To ensure international cooperation and coordination in prosecution of offenders and protection of women and children victims of trafficking

·   Pass legislation to give extraterritorial jurisdiction for trafficking of women and children in accordance with international law.

·   Make extradition treaties for cases relating to trafficking

·   Make bilateral/multilateral arrangements with countries from or to which women and children are trafficked to prevent trafficking and ensure safe return of trafficked persons

·   Provide monitoring systems to ensure that trafficked persons returned to their own homes and countries are safe

·   Nominate a national INTERPOL focal point for inquiries and reporting

·   Increase communication and cooperation between prosecutors and police forces in sending, transit and receiving countries

·   Increase information shared between countries to close down trafficking routes

·   Train relevant embassy staff to assist in tracing offenders and missing persons and to provide an adequate information service to prosecuting authorities

·   Ensure mandate of police liaison officers stationed abroad includes trafficking

Ministries (Foreign Affairs, Justice, Interior)

Other Government Institutions (State Border Service)




·  Extraterritorial legislation against trafficking in human beings

·  Policies and international treaties for extradition of traffickers

·  Local, international/multilateral arrangements for safe return of trafficked persons to their homes with monitoring provisions

·  INTERPOL focal point active

·  Embassy staff trained in providing mutual legal assistance

·  Police liaison officers mandated to deal with trafficking related issues