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Constructive Dialogues UN Review Mechanism

Isabella Chen, LEFO IBF

On July 1, UNODC organised the constructive dialogues  for the UN Review Mechanism. LSI and members provided short interventions during the session on human trafficking.

The constructive dialogues are organised to brief stakeholders, including NGOs on how the review process has developed. The UNTOC Review Mechanism evaluates states’ implementation of the the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the related Protocols, including the Protocol to Prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

The review is taking place in four stages known as “clusters” from December 2020 to December 2030. See timeline. Each cluster focuses on different parts of UNTOC and its protocols. Currently there is a review around Cluster 1 which focuses on “criminalisation.” This means states are being reviewed against Articles 3 and 5 of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol; Articles 3, 5 and 6 of the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol; and Articles 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 15 and 23 of UNTOC. These are the articles that relate to the legal definitions of trafficking and smuggling, and the obligation on states to criminalise trafficking and smuggling. In November this year, the 2nd cluster will start focusing on international cooperation, mutual legal assistance and confiscation.

Within the 4 clusters, countries are reviewed in different periods, based on drawing of lots which decides which two countries review a country. Each State party under review shall provide the responses to the self-assessment questionnaire[1].

Within cluster I, the 2nd group is now being reviewed. For Europe this means that the most European countries have been or are now being reviewed, although there have been some delays[2]:

So far governments seem to follow the process little and for civil society is often not easy to find out at national level who is the focal point. There are delays in the process and not all countries that were supposed to be reviewed have been reviewed by now.

See here intervention by La Strada International, as well as the intervention by KOKLEFO IBF as well as the video intervention by GAATW.

 

[1] GI-TOC has translated the UNTOC review questionnaires (including one specifically on the TIP protocol) into French, with more languages expected soon. They are available on their main UNTOC page and ask NGOs to use the questionnaires to submit their feedback. https://globalinitiative.net/analysis/untoc-review-civil-society/

[2] Group 1: Armenia, Belarus, Cyprus, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia and Luxembourg, Poland, Moldova, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and UK. Group 2: See also info on country pairings.