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AU.COMMIT Campaign: when the fight against trafficking becomes a priority for Africa

Recently, the fight against trafficking in human beings has gained more prominent place in the international and regional forums pertaining to global governance. This is particularly true with regard to the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) and the Blue Heart Campaign. In addition, the Africa-EU Partnership on Migration, Mobility and Employment and the Sixth African Development Forum, call for the implementation of the Ouagadougou Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings Especially Women and Children.  The Action Plan urges Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to use the same action plan as a reference to develop and reform their policies and laws on trafficking in persons. It also requests the AUC in consultation with the IOM and other relevant partners, to assist Member States and RECs with its implementation and development of a follow-up mechanism.

In this context, the Department of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission launched the AU Commission Initiative against Trafficking (AU.COMMIT) campaign as one of its major activities on Migration and Development for 2009-2012. At the centre of the Campaign is the implementation of the Ouagadougou Action Plan by the RECs. The general objective of the launch of AU.COMMIT Campaign is to set the pace for the fight against trafficking in human beings as a priority on the development agenda of the continent. It focuses in particular on the issues of prevention, prosecution of traffickickers and protection of victims.

The AU.COMMIT campaign has been launched with the following RECs: ECOWAS, IGAD and SADC.