Hosted by the National Working Committee on Children and Women under the State Council and the Ministry of Public Security, in cooperation with the UNIAP China Office and the International Organisation for Migration, the National Anti-Trafficking Workshop was successfully held from 26th
August 2007, in Lijiang, Yunnan Province. This training aimed to further improve the capabilities of personnel engaged in anti-trafficking work, as well as to promote the effective implementation of the six country, regional Memorandum of Understanding and the Sub-Regional Plan of Action.
Representatives participating in this national training were from the National Working Committee on Children and Women under the State Council, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central Committee for Comprehensive Management of Public Security, the Youth Corps Central Committee and leaders at all levels who are engaged in anti-trafficking work, from relevant departments in Yunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Sichuan, Shanxi and Gilin Provinces. The UNIAP China Office and the International Organisation of Migration liaison office in China also sent personnel to attend the training.
The training focused on the international and national definitions of trafficking, prevention, protection and legal assistance for victims, the prosecution of traffickers, etc. Lively discussions on issues concerning theory and practice took place. Everybody thought that, China’s trafficking legislation is incorporated into China’s Criminal Law, Labour Law, Public Order Regulations and other laws and regulations. It is necessary to further consider how the “trafficking definition” used in the International Protocol on Human Trafficking can be integrated into China’s laws, as well as to compare and cooperate with other countries. The participants believe that, anti-trafficking work is a continuing and arduous task, under the leadership of the government with the participation of many departments, as well as national and international cooperation, from the grassroots to national level everyone must make a concerted effort. The China’s Ministry of Public Security has already made combating human trafficking a priority, so that the economy can benefit it should also link up with many departments to undertake comprehensive improvements, all-round prevention and develop methods to prevent human trafficking at the lowest cost possible.
After the five day training, the participants reached a consensus on the following:
1. The participants discussed the problems of China signing the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (the International Trafficking Protocol). They believe that, although China’s definition of trafficking in women and children, is rather limited in comparison to the international definition, all of the articles stipulated in China’s laws and regulations, such as the Criminal Law, the Labour Law, the Regulations Prohibiting the Use of Child Labour and the People’s Republic of China Public Security Administration Punishment Law, as well as other articles, already cover more than 95% of the content contained in relevant international human smuggling treaties. Experts believe that China is now ready to sign the Supplementary Protocol. It is necessary to further consider how it will integrate into the International Anti-Trafficking Protocol’s trafficking definition, in order to for China to compare and cooperate internationally;
2. Anti-trafficking work is a long-term and arduous task, under the leadership of the government it is necessary for various sectors to participate, form links nationally and internationally and make a concerted effort from the grassroots to central level;
3. Besides prioritizing combating trafficking, China’s Ministry of Public Security should cooperate with numerous sectors to make comprehensive improvements, undertake all-round prevention, as well as expand trafficking prevention methods, in order to reap the greatest social and economic benefits possible whilst minimising costs.
4. Incidents of trafficking are most likely to occur during unregulated migration. The Office of the Central Committee for Comprehensive Management of Public Security should encompass anti-trafficking in their work to make comprehensive improvements. The pilot Chinese edition of Ideas on Further Strengthening the Management and Services of the Migrant Population from the Office of Central Comprehensive Management of Public Security will be published in the near future.
5. In order to more effectively develop anti-trafficking work at a national level, it is necessary to clarify China’s trafficking status quo and to investigate this in collaboration with the UNIAP.
Representatives also deliberated the problems of and made various suggestions regarding the establishment of a durable anti-trafficking mechanism, anti-trafficking funds, as well as other issues related to trafficking.
The trainers were Deputy Director-General, Huang TaiYun from the Criminal Legislation Department of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress, Prof. Liang ShuYing from the China University of Political Science and Law, Dr. Mi XiaoXiong from the Social Policy Research Centre of China’s Academy of Social Sciences, Tong JiYu, a researcher from the Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences and Lance Bonneau, a senior regional programme officer for the International Organisation for Migration.
Those who attended the training thoroughly approved of the training methods and made positive suggestions regarding the content of the training.
UNIAP China Office, August 2007