QUICK ESCAPE FROM SITE

Sex trafficking may occur whether or not an international, national or regional border is crossed

At its root, sex trafficking involves the sexual exploitation of women and girls. Therefore, transportation is not a required element of the criminal offence of sex trafficking.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) states that, “While these actions can all take place within one country’s borders, they can also take place across borders with the recruitment taking place in one country and the act of receiving the victim and the exploitation taking place in another. Whether or not an international border is crossed, the intention to exploit the individual concerned underpins the entire process.” (See: UNHCR Guidelines on International Protection (2006): The application of Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention and/or 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees to victims of trafficking and persons at risk of being trafficked, Section II(a)(10), 5.)       

At the same time, because regional, national and international borders are often crossed during the process of sex trafficking, officials tasked with responding to such cases must be aware of their jurisdictional authority.

Drafters of legislation on sex trafficking of women and girls should ensure the law is applicable within the territory when the offence is:

  • Committed within the territory of the country or state;
  • Committed on board a vessel or aircraft that is registered under the laws of the country or state at the time the offence was committed;
  • Committed by a national of the country whose extradition is refused on the grounds of nationality. (See: UNODC Model Law Against Trafficking in Persons, Article 6, 2009)

Drafters of legislation on sex trafficking of women and girls should ensure the law is applicable outside the territory when the offence is:

  • Committed by a national of the territory;
  • Committed by a stateless person who has his or her habitual residence in the territory at the time of the commission of the offence; or
  • Committed against a victim who is a national of the territory. (See UNODC Model Law Against Trafficking in Persons, Article 7, 2009)