As trafficking worldwide has become increasingly more sophisticated and widespread, some governments are implementing new legislation, hosting international conferences, and signing new and existing conventions. The United Nations (UN) and other Inter-Governmental Organisations (IGOs) are dedicating substantial resources to developing more effective solutions. However, the relative absence of government initiatives and assistance for trafficking victims, means that it is NGOs who have taken up the challenge of organising locally, nationally, and internationally to advocate for and meet the needs of victims, despite their limited resources. This article provides an overview of NGO activity against trafficking in women for sexual exploitation. It is based on an exploratory study undertaken by the Change Anti-Trafficking Programme (ATP) in 2001. The article explores why NGOs are well-placed to work with women victims of trafficking, and their responses to the growing phenomenon in countries of origin and destination. It presents a regional overview of NGO initiatives, and concludes by discussing some of the main obstacles faced by NGOs in combating trafficking for sexual exploitation, and women’s and children’s vulnerability to slavery-like practices.
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