Human Rights Advocacy

CATW engages in international presentations, trial testimony, congressional and parliamentary hearings, UN forums and international visitors programs designed to create the social, political, and legal conditions that are inhospitable to human trafficking.

GOALS:

  • To participate in governmental and public forums addressing the harmful consequences of state-sponsored prostitution.
  • To provide expert testimony in court, and at congressional and parliamentary hearings on trafficking, prostitution and the global sex industry.
  • To host NGO and governmental visitors from around the world about best practices in combating trafficking and prostitution and educate about CATW's policies and programs.
  • To lead seminars for international journalists focusing on media coverage of prostitution and trafficking issues.
  • To continue presentations on prostitution and trafficking in Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mali, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United States, Venezuela and elsewhere.
  • To testify at U.S. Congressional and the European Parliamentary and other legislative hearings.
  • To advocate annually at key UN forums including the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meetings, the UN Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery and key UN world conferences such as Beijing, Beijing + 5, and Beijing + 10.
  • To monitor the progress of the UN Protocol on Trafficking in which CATW played a key role in drafting a human rights definition of trafficking that protects all victims of trafficking regardless of their consent; and in establishing prevention, protection and prosecution measures.
  • To monitor the implementation of the anti-trafficking law passed in the Philippines that CATW's Asia Pacific helped to pass.

AUSTRALIA
CATW-Australia holds conferences, advises policymakers and meets with legislators throughout the region and in Western Australia advocating against legalization of the sex industry. CATWA promotes the Nordic Model by calling attention to the harms of prostitution and publishes works about the effects of legalization and the role of organized crime in the sex industry.

CANADA
CATW partners with numerous women's groups and human rights advocates throughout Canada to fight the legalization of prostitution and urge the Ontario Superior Court to reverse its decision to void Canada's anti-prostitution laws. CATW is advocating for legislation against the demand for commercial sexual exploitation by vigorously supporting the passage of the Nordic Model.

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
CATW-LAC is regularly invited to speak at international and national forums to discuss the role of demand as a root cause of trafficking in women and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

CATW-LAC advocates for specialized shelters for girl victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation by coordinating with like organizations through meetings and trainings in the region.

ISRAEL
The Temple Committee Against Human Trafficking (Montreal) collaborates with ATZUM Task Force on Human Trafficking in Israel. The Temple Committee supports a Nordic Model inspired bill proposed by Member of Knesset Orit Zuaretz, which would criminalize the buying of sex. The Temple Committee and our network of North American partners, have opposed the closing of the Sa'ar Police Unit which specializes in prostitution cases. Our recent letter campaign provided enormous support for MK Zuaretz and the future of the Sa'ar Unit. That future is yet undetermined; however, we believe that our influence and the hard work of our Israeli partners will ensure that this unit continues to operate with a focus on prostitution. Whenever we are called upon, we collaborate with our Israeli partners in advancing the abolitionist movement to end prostitution in Israel just as we do at home.

NORWAY
The Women's Front (WF) is an independent women's organization in Norway, founded in 1972. The Women's Front works with international organizations against genital mutilation, trafficking and prostitution. WF supports women's projects run by local women's organizations in Africa, Latin America and in Asia, providing funding and political support for women's reproductive rights, economic independence and survival strategies. WF advocates on the international and national political levels, campaigning for criminalizing of the buyers of sexual activities, presenting papers about prostitution, human trafficking, legalization and the harms of the global sex industry. In 2009, Norway joined Sweden in passing ground- breaking legislation, the world's first law to recognize prostitution as violence against women and a violation of human rights. The Nordic Model criminalizes the purchase of commercial sex and offers women and children an exit strategy.

SOUTH AFRICA
CATW-South Africa developed a petition to raise awareness of trafficking during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Price recipient was the first person to endorse the petition which was signed by over 1,700 individuals including President Jacob Zuma, deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, cabinet ministers, women leaders, celebrities, soccer players, religious, media, entertainment and sports leaders.

UNITED STATES
CATW hosts NGO and governmental visitors from around the world about best practices in combating human trafficking and prostitution and promote CATW's abolitionist approach to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children.

CATW participates yearly in sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), held at the United Nations in New York, advocating for strong laws and polices against commercial sexual exploitation. CATW presents joint NGO statements to government delegates and other participants as well as oral interventions condemning policies and practices that tolerate and profit from the sexual commodification of women and girls.

CATW continues to expand the Abolitionist Network (AN), a network of organizations and noteworthy individuals that give a collective voice to the struggle against trafficking in human beings. To date there are 14 members of the AN, including Equality Now and noted feminist/scholar Catherine MacKinnon.

CATW submits Amicus Briefs, testifies before government agencies, and gives speaking engagements in the U.S. promoting comprehensive reform that includes measures to curb the demand, end violence against women and educating the public about the links between prostitution and sex trafficking and the normalization of commercial sexual exploitation.

CATW works to engage men to build a stronger abolitionist voice within the male movement to end violence against women. In 2009 CATW organized A Conversation Among Men About Sex Trafficking, and in 2010 CATW co-hosted the The Men's Roundtable in furtherance of this goal. CATW is working toward a 2012 Men's Conference to strengthen the abolitionist movement.