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Relevant International Standards for Talitha Kum’s Work

Talitha Kum is aware of international standards on trafficking in persons, and acknowledges the international definition of ‘trafficking in persons’ contained in the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted in Palermo in 2000. In this regard, the network recognizes the definitional complexity of the multifaceted phenomena of human trafficking, exploitation and modern slavery.

Talitha Kum considers ‘modern slavery’, ‘modern forms of slavery’, ‘contemporary slavery’, or ‘contemporary forms of slavery’ to be umbrella terms that cover multiple forms of severe exploitation including in particular slavery, practices similar to slavery such as debt bondage and servitude, forced labour, child, early and forced marriages, and the worst forms of child labour, including the exploitation of child soldiers.

The network acknowledges international human rights, labour, and asylum legal standards as relevant for its work, and in particular: the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and its Optional Protocols on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (CRC-OPSC) and on the involvement of children in armed conflicts (CRC-OPAC); the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD); the 1950 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol; the 1926 Slavery Convention and the 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery; the 1930 Forced Labour Convention N. 29 and its 2014 Protocol.

Moreover, in its work towards caring for, healing, empowering and restoring victims and survivors, Talitha Kum considers relevant the 2002 Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking, the 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (DEVAW), and the 1985 United Nations Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power.

Talitha Kum is aware of ongoing efforts towards a global governance of migration and asylum, and acknowledges stakeholders’ cooperation – in the framework of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees – as including specific actions in the field of human trafficking and exploitation.

In working towards the prevention of human trafficking, Talitha Kum considers its engagement relevant towards the realization of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the achievement of the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • SDG 5 Gender equality, Target 2, which endeavors to eliminate “all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation”; and Target 3, which addresses the elimination of harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriages;
  • SDG 8 Decent work and economic growth, Target 7, which aims to “take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms”;
  • SDG 10 Reduced inequalities, Target 4, which aims to adopt “policies, especially fiscal, wage and social protection policies, and progressively achieve greater equality”; and Target 7, which calls on states to “facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies”;
  • SDG 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions, Target 2, which seeks to “end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children”.


Finally, Talitha Kum also acknowledges the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 66/290 of the 10th of September 2012, which promotes a common understanding of the concept of human security as including: “(a) The right of people to live in freedom and dignity, free from poverty and despair. All individuals, in particular vulnerable people, are entitled to freedom from fear and freedom from want, with an equal opportunity to enjoy all their rights and fully develop their human potential; (b) [] people-centered, comprehensive, context-specific and prevention-oriented responses that strengthen the protection and empowerment of all people and all communities; (c) recognition of the interlinkages between peace, development and human rights, and [of] civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights”.

Roma, 25 Nov 2021