Statement by ILO's Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific to mark World Day against Trafficking in Persons

Ms Chihoko Asada-Miyakawa, the Regional Director, ILO Asia Pacific, met with grassroot organisers of SEWA union in Delhi. Supported by ILO’s Work in Freedom programme in India since 2014, SEWA organisers provided an overview of work done, COVID-19’s impact and demands of domestic workers in India.

Press release | 30 July 2022
Trafficking in persons is preventable, not by barring workers’ mobility, but rather by strengthening measures to tackle trafficking in persons and promoting labour rights. Technology, especially social media can at times be misused to facilitate trafficking but, it can also be used innovatively to prevent trafficking.

Through the experience of ILO’s Work in Freedom programme, we have learnt several lessons on the importance of promoting mobility with employment choices at the source. Fair recruitment pathways and decent working conditions at the destination, help to reduce vulnerability to trafficking and forced labour for women workers. For example, trafficking in the context of domestic work can be addressed by recognising the labour rights of domestic workers; ensuring they earn a living wage and can work with dignity. Technology, which can sometimes enable trafficking can also prevent, and provide innovative solutions to the issue. In my interaction with SEWA’s grassroot organisers earlier today, the pertinent need to uphold international labour standards and fundamental principles and rights at work was reinforced, especially freedom of association and right to collective bargaining amongst informal, local and migrant workers to build a trafficking-free world of work.

I thank the continued efforts of colleagues in the Asia-Pacific region working within a labour rights framework to prevent human trafficking, particularly in sectors where forced labour conditions have been observed. Let us pledge together today to promote dignity, social protection and decent working conditions for all workers to prevent trafficking of women, men and children.