An underlying objective of the international community when it adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) was to mitigate the adverse drivers and structural factors that hinder people from building and maintaining sustainable livelihoods in their countries of origin, and so compel them to seek a future elsewhere (see Objective 2 of the GCM).
The GCM also seeks to reduce the risks and vulnerabilities that migrants face at different stages of migration by respecting, protecting and fulfilling their human rights and providing them with care and assistance (see Objective 7 of the GCM).
A set of actions to realize States’ related commitments was identified, including the “review [of] relevant policies and practices to ensure that they do not create, exacerbate or unintentionally increase vulnerabilities of migrants, including by applying a human rights-based, gender- and disability- responsive, as well as age- and child-sensitive approach” as well as to “establish comprehensive policies and develop partnerships that provide migrants in a situation of vulnerability, regardless of their migration status, with necessary support at all stages of migration, through identification and assistance, as well as protection of their human rights, in particular in cases related to [...] victims of trafficking in persons, and migrants subject to exploitation and abuse in the context of smuggling of migrants”.
Moreover, GCM Objective 10 aims to prevent, combat and eradicate trafficking in persons in the context of international migration. State parties accordingly committed to “take legislative or other measures to prevent, combat and eradicate trafficking in persons in the context of international migration by strengthening capacities and international cooperation to investigate, prosecute and penalize trafficking in persons, discouraging demand that fosters exploitation leading to trafficking, and ending impunity of trafficking networks. We further commit to enhance the identification and protection of, and assistance to, migrants who have become victims of trafficking, paying particular attention to women and children”.
A detailed list of actions are included in the Objective to realise the commitments it enshrines. Yet the specific issue of migrants’ vulnerability to trafficking in persons has not been adequately addressed in platforms and spaces leading to this first International Migration Review Forum. Additionally, States’ GCM implementation, to date, has rarely reflected a strategic recognition of the interlinkages between trafficking in persons and other migration-related issues.