La Strada International Releases New Report Directly Linking Trafficking in Women and the Violation of Women's Rights
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 4:21 PM

Violation of women's rights: a cause and consequence of trafficking in women.

On 8 March 2008, International Women's Day, La Strada International, the European network of human rights organisations active in the prevention of trafficking in human beings with a focus on Central and Eastern Europe, presented its report "Violation of women's rights: a cause and consequence of trafficking in women"  and launched a common La Strada campaign to be implemented in all La Strada countries during 2008.                                                                                       

Helga Konrad, former OSCE Special Representative on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and La Strada International Advisory Council Member states:

The report Violation of women's rights: a cause and consequence of trafficking in women by La Strada International is an important first step in analysing the link between trafficking in women and the violation of women's rights, which calls for international discussion and further research. Improving and promoting women's rights will not lead to instant successes, but it is the only way to create a sustainable and long-lasting new equilibrium in world society in which women are free from violence, exploitation and abuse and empowered to determine their own futures.

The report finds that trafficking is not a gender-neutral phenomenon and that violence against women, stereo-typical gender roles and gender discrimination on the labour market together act as root causes of trafficking. Collected information about and analysis on the position of women in all nine La Strada countries shows that as long as women cannot live their lives free from the threat of violence and discrimination, and as long as they do not have equal opportunities in the labour market, they will choose to work abroad and labour migration will continue. At the same time, as long as legal migration is impossible or severely restricted, migrant workers are forced to take risks and are practically driven into the arms of the criminal networks that control illegal routes into the countries of destination. As long as these countries are not willing to give trafficked persons, as well as (undocumented) migrants, the rights to which they are entitled by international standards, breaches of human rights will continue.

On the basis of the findings presented in this report, La Strada calls on governments to end this vicious circle and take women's rights seriously. As gender inequality is one of the main factors contributing to trafficking, La Strada urges governments to respect, protect and promote human rights and especially the human rights of women, irrespective of their legal status, in order to prevent and combat trafficking effectively. As human rights violations are also a consequence of trafficking and can seriously infringe upon the rights of others, La Strada urges all governments to place human rights at the core of all policies and specifically anti-trafficking measures. The report further provides practical recommendations for governments to address women's rights in order to prevent further human rights abuses such as trafficking from occurring.

Based on the findings in this report, the international media campaign entitled "Rights and Roses" will be launched to be implemented in all La Strada countries during the year 2008.

The PDF document of the report as well as a PDF version of the summary and recommendations are attached or can be downloaded from

Published in: "Violation of Women's Rights: A Cause and Consequence of Trafficking in Women," 8 March 2008.