The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) is one of the oldest international organizations working to end the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls. Through an approach rooted in women’s rights and human rights principles, we advocate for strong laws and policies, raise public awareness and support survivor leadership.
For three decades, CATW has worked around the world to fight sex trafficking and sexual exploitation, ensure justice is served, and safeguard the rights of all women and girls.
The First USA Conference on International Trafficking in Women gathers global grassroots advocates to launch the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – International.
CATW convenes an international meeting of experts on sexual exploitation, violence and prostitution. With UNESCO, CATW publishes the proceedings in “The Penn State Report.”
The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia-Pacific and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Europe are established.
The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Latin America and the Caribbean launches and develops workshops to educate youth at risk of sexual exploitation in Caracas schools.
CATW participates in the seminal Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and chairs the Violence Against Women Caucus.
CATW joins forces with a sex trade survivor to address a special session of the UN General Assembly.
CATW organizes first international conference of sex trade survivors, frontline service organizations and women’s rights advocates. The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Africa is established.
CATW supported Swedish partners advocating for the successfully enacted Ban on the Purchase of Sex, the first law solely decriminalizing prostituted women while holding sex buyers accountable.
The International Human Rights Network, organized by CATW to advocate for a comprehensive legal definition of human trafficking, succeeds when the UNGA adopts the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol.
CATW publishes “Sex Trafficking of Women in the United States: International and Domestic Trends,” the first systematic report based on interviews with 40 women trafficked and prostituted in the U.S.
The SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution passes. CATW members and affiliates fought hard to shape provisions of this convention.
CATW-AP hosts the first summer camp to educate boys and young men on prostitution and sex trafficking. CATW-LAC begins a prevention program in Mexico City, which becomes a model for the region.
CATW works with South Korean advocates to pass two laws: one to protect and assist victims, expanding social services; another to increase penalties against brothel owners, pimps, and sex buyers.
First conviction under 2003 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, which CATW-AP helped draft. In the lead up, CATW-AP conducted outreach to local government agencies through Bantay-Bugaw(Trafficker-Watch).
Sex trade survivors issue a public statement denouncing the term “sex work” as trivializing the trauma they suffered in prostitution at groundbreaking CATW-AP gathering in Thailand.
CATW and the European Women’s Lobby begin trafficking and sexual exploitation prevention project to support NGOs working in 13 European countries known as trafficking hot spots.
CATW Europe’s “Buying Sex is Not a Sport” protests sex tourism and Germany’s promotion of prostitution during the World Cup. In India, CATW and Apne Aap publish handbook on demand and sex trafficking.
NYS Human Trafficking Act passes following joint campaign. Bulgaria rejects legalizing sex trade after CATW meets Prime Minister. CATW-AP trainings lead Olongapo City council to combat prostitution.
CATW, IROKO, NAPTIP organize first international conference on trafficking, prostitution in Nigeria. CATW-LAC creates Red Alert System to locate and provide services to victims; prosecute exploiters.
CATW partner Stigamot is instrumental in advocating for the successful passage of law penalizing sex buying and decriminalizing people in prostitution in Iceland.
CATW partner Kvinnefronten along with other organizations in Norway successfully advocate for the passage of The Ban on the Purchase of Sexual Services.
Craigslist shuts down “Adult Services” section, a known platform for facilitating sex trafficking, after pressure from CATW’s “Global Campaign for a Sex Trafficking Free Internet” launched that year.
Following the success of its first educational camps for sex trafficking survivors in 2010, CATW-AP organizes first Regional Meeting of Survivors in New Delhi, where survivors shared best practices.
Mexico passes the General Law on the Prevention and Eradication of Crimes of Trafficking in Persons and the Protection and Assistance of Victims of Such Crimes. CATW-LAC's advocacy is crucial.
CATW-LAC leads the “Di No Al Turismo Sexual” (Say No to Sex Tourism) campaign in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup.
Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, the first comprehensive federal bill to address domestic trafficking in the U.S., and NYS’s Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act are signed into law.
CATW partners celebrate the enactment of The French Act Against Prostitution, the strongest law of its kind in the world. CATW Europe initiated proceedings in the early 2000s that led to its passage.
Organizations in the Republic of Ireland successfully advocate for the passage of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2015. CATW supported survivor leaders and frontline partners in their advocacy.
The Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act is signed into law following years-long advocacy with partners to hold websites knowingly facilitating sex trafficking accountable.
Global conference in Madrid commemorates CATW’s 30th anniversary and creates strategies for the 5.2 Global Partnership. It is the largest recorded international feminist conference in Spain’s history.
A survivor-led alliance of more than 30 advocates, prostitution and sex trafficking survivors, and organizational partners begins work to bring the Equality Model to NYS. CATW is a member.
At the Edge of the Margins virtual round table series begins to shed light on the impact of the crisis and other emerging issues; we support frontline partners in the Philippines and South Africa.
The Sex Trade Survivors Justice and Equality Act, a bill developed in partnership with survivors of the sex trade and advocates, is introduced to the New York State Legislature.
In June 2023, Maine became the first U.S. state to adopt a legal framework known as the Equality Model, recognizing the system of prostitution as a barrier to equality.