Time and location

Friday, 20 October 2017
Conference: 9:00 - 18:30
Registration und coffee: 8:00 - 9:00
VIDC/LEFÖ-IBF Panel discussion: 13:00 - 15:00
VIDC/LEFÖ-IBF Workshop: 15:30 - 17:30
Hofburg, Neuer Saal, Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna


The conference "Human Trafficking in Conflict and Crises Situations" is organized by the Austrian Task Force on Combating Human Trafficking in cooperation with the OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, the VIDC and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), on the occasion of the EU-Anti-Trafficking Day.

The VIDC has cooperated with the Intervention Center of Trafficked Women of LEFÖ - Counseling, Education Opportunities and Support of Migrant Women for the conceptualization and organization of the panel discussion "A Gender Perspective on Human Trafficking in the Context of Forced Migration" and the workshop "Access to Rights as Prevention of THB & Violence against Women".

Conference program (German/English)
VIDC/LEFÖ-IBF Workshop Concept

Conference languages: German and English with simultaneous interpretation

Please RSVP by 10 October by sending the registration form to anti-trafficking@remove-this.bmeia.gv.at and please bring your identification card to the registration desk.

Human trafficking in the context of migration

© Trocaire/flickr.com
© Trocaire/flickr.com


The EU transfers its external borders to North Africa, from Mauretania to Ethiopia. In the name of border control France and Germany further militarization, armament and ammunition in Niger and Chad which will result in even more dangerous migration routes through land controlled by rebels and consequently cause more deaths. According to UNHCR, migrants declare the desert “a bigger cemetery than the Mediterranean Sea”.
In order to “respond to the unprecedented levels of irregular migration” the EU established the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, worth 2.9 billion Euro. Improving border management, fighting against transnational trafficking and criminal networks and terrorism-related activities in the Horn of Africa, Sahel region and North Africa are high on the political agenda of the EU – as well as on national election programs – and put together under the forth pillar of the trust fund. In addition, a similar EU migration pact as with Turkey is envisaged with Libya.
Uganda takes a different stance and has become a role model for pioneering a comprehensive approach to refugee protection (New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, UN General Assembly, 2016). At present the East African country of the physical size of the UK hosts 1.3 million refugees, more than arrived in all 28 EU member states in 2015, the peak of the European refugee ‘crisis’. Upon receiving refugee status, refugees in Uganda are provided with small areas of land in settlements integrated within the local host community. In addition they are given the right to work and have access to public services, including health centers and schools. The study “Refugee Economics: Rethinking Popular Assumptions” (University of Oxford) found that refugees in Uganda are using economic freedom and social support to become self-sufficient. Rather than taking the jobs of locals, they are actually acting as job creators.

With regard to the ongoing deprivations of human rights as ‘collateral damage’ of the refugee/migration crisis (i.e. deportations, alliances with dictators and despots) what is the role of public international (soft) law and of intergovernmental institutions such as the Council of Europe and the United Nations? What can be done to stop violations of public international law – human rights law and refugee law – such as sending migrants back to Libyan camps, where the most inhuman conditions imaginable and constant rapes of refugee women are ‘accepted’ by EU member states?
What can the EU learn from the Uganda’s refugee policy? What is the interconnection between a human rights based approach to refugees with focus on the strength therein to protect them from being victims and the gaps that make them susceptible to being trafficked?
In European countries of destination, what is the impact of ‘migration control’ on the vulnerabilities of trafficked women and children? How does this approach affect trafficked women’s protection and access to rights in Austria?


Christine Chinkin

is Emerita Professor of International Law and founding Director of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics. Professor Chinkin is a leading expert on the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). She has been a consultant or advisor to UN bodies on a range of issues including human trafficking, gender-based persecution in armed conflict, peace agreements and gender and violence against women. In addition, she was scientific advisor to the Council of Europe Committee that drafted the Convention on Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention), the most far-reaching international treaty aimed at tackling violence against women and domestic violence. In 2005, Chinkin and Charlesworth were awarded the American Society of International Law’s Goler T. Butcher Medal for their ground-breaking book “The Boundaries of International Law: a feminist analysis” (2010) and many other contributions. She is a Fellow of the British Academy, a barrister and an academic member of Matrix Chambers. She was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to advancing women's human rights worldwide.

Isaac Arinaitwe

is an advocate for human rights and a community development expert with 11 years experience in designing and managing programs aimed at improving the welfare of communities and strengthening systems to combat human trafficking in Uganda. He has been a principal investigator in conducting the studies “Protection of children from child trafficking in Karamoja Region” (2014), “Case study of Moroto district of Uganda” (2016) and a co-investigator in “Assessing the schemes, routes and factors that contribute to the prevalence of human trafficking across borders in Uganda” (2016). Currently he works as Program Officer - Networking and Community Development with the Platform for Labour Action (PLA), a Ugandan NGO that promotes and protects the rights of vulnerable and marginalized workers through empowerment of communities and individuals. PLA was founded in 2000 as a national civil society organization by a group of female activists in response to the absence of an appropriate voice to address the rights of marginalized workers, especially women, youth and children.
Arinaitwe also has a wealth of experience in raising community awareness and capacity building on human rights related issues. He trains law enforcement, police, immigration and internal security officers in several districts of Uganda as part of the community mechanism to prevent trafficking in persons and to protect victims of international trafficking.

Evelyn Probst

holds a master degree in psychology and as a certified trainer she has more than 20 years of work experience in the field of combating Trafficking in Human Beings (THB). Since 2000 she is the coordinator of the Intervention Centre for Trafficked Women and Girls (IBF) of the association LEFÖ - Counseling, Education Opportunities and Support of Migrant Women, based in Vienna. Evelyn Probst is a much sought-after trainer for seminars and trainings for NGOs, judiciary, police and other relevant actors. She teaches at different Austrian and international universities and publishes on THB focusing on feminist women's rights perspectives, labour exploitation as a socio-economic issue and access to compensation for trafficked persons. Currently Probst is the European board member of the Global Alliance against Trafficking in Women (GAATW).

Viola Raheb

is Assistant Professor (post doc) at the Faculty of Protestant Theology, at the University of Vienna. Before coming to Vienna in 2002, she headed the educational work of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and Palestine. Since 2014 Raheb is Senior Fellow at the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue and already since 1998 a member of the Advisory Council of the Peace Education Standing Commission. In addition she curates the International Mayors’ Conference N-O-W and holds positions on various boards. In 2017 she worked also as co-editor of the magazine „GENDER. Zeitschrift für Geschlecht, Kultur und Gesellschaft, Geschlechterverhältnisse verhandeln – arabische Frauen und die Transformation arabischer Gesellschaften”.
With regard to the migration flows from the Middle East, Raheb curated a number of international conferences and trained teachers, government officials and NGO representatives on integration issues, especially concerning children, youth and women. Viola Raheb grew up in a Palestinian-Christian family in Bethlehem.