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International Law, UN Conventions and other Documents

This page contains links to the various UN trafficking and prostitution conventions and documents. trafficking.

CEDAW Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women. This Convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979. Article 6 of the Convention deals specifically with prostitution and states the following: ‘State Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women.’

A summary of Australia’s CEDAW reports in relation to Article 6 can be found here.

The Optional Protocol to CEDAW This came into force in 2000 and allows for the CEDAW committee to receive and consider complaints of discrimination from individuals and groups.

Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (2000) This is sometimes referred to as the Palermo Protocol. It sets out clearly in Article 3a the definition of trafficking. This document also contains the important statement in Article 3b that ‘the consent of a victim of trafficking in persons …… shall be irrelevant’. A guide to the protocol, produced by CATW International can be found here