of the Department of Social Affairs
I. Introduction to AU.COMMIT
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) programme and the Blue Heart Campaign. In addition, the recent Sixth African Development Forum, jointly organized by the UN-Economic Commission for Africa, African Development Bank, and the African Union calls for the popularization and implementation of the Ouagadougou Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings Especially Women and Children (the Ouagadougou Action Plan). Similarly,the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership (Lisbon Action Plan) particularly the Africa-EU Partnership on Migration, Mobility and Employment calls for more action to combat trafficking in persons.
The Department of Social Affairs (DSA) of the African Union Commission (AUC) in its 2009-2012 Strategic Plan and 2008 Programme of Activities has provided several initiatives with regard to the popularization and implementation of the AU policies on migration and development, one of which is the Ouagadougou Action Plan.The AU Commission Initiative against Trafficking (AU.COMMIT) Campaign is one of the major Programme of Activities of DSA on Migration and Development for 2009-2012.
At the centre of the AU.COMMIT Campaign is the implementation of the Ouagadougou Action Plan. The Ouagadougou Action Plan urges Member States and RECs to utilize 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 International Organization for Migration and other relevant partners, to assist Member States and RECs with its implementation and development of a follow-up mechanism. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission is also to report periodically on the implementation of the Ouagadougou Action Plan. It further calls the International Community to continue providing assistance towards the attainment of the objectives contained in the Ouagadougou Action Plan.
This concept paper provides the major components of the launch of the AU.COMMIT Campaign.
The official launch of the AU.COMMIT Campaign is to be conducted in a such a way that the messages could be heard louder than before, while raising awareness of the AU’s continued commitment towards tackling the problem of trafficking in human beings in a more strategic and programmatic manner. The launch will thus serve to communicate the overall objectives and messages of the AU. COMMIT Campaign through media and press coverage.
The AU Commission believes that through the launch of the AU.COMMIT Campaign on prevention of trafficking, protection of victims of trafficking and prosecution of traffickers, it will be able to contribute its share to the global fight against trafficking in persons.
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. The launch will also put an AU publicity stamp on the different initiatives being carried out towards the elimination of trafficking in human beings. Moreover, the launch will set the tone for the different stages of AU.COMMIT Campaign and the activities provided in the Programme so that Members States and Regional Economic Communities will put trafficking at the top of national agenda. It also helps to inform policy makers and enforcement officials of Member States about the Ouagadougou Action Plan.
Apart from the above general objectives, the launch will be used to inform the public about AU.COMMIT and the AU’s determination to tackle the problem in collaboration with RECs, Member States and partners. The AU will also use this to call the Media and CSOs to popularize and advocate for the implementation of the Ouagadougou Action Plan.
A total of one hundred and twenty (120) participants drawn from the liaison offices of the RECs, Permanent Representatives Council (PRC), relevant authorities in the Ethiopin Government, development partners, the diplomatic corps, international development organizations, INTERPOL (Addis Ababa), NGOs, the press and media outlets will be invited. In this regard, the Communications Unit of AU Commission, Legal Counsel, Gender Affairs, Political Affairs, Economic, Culture and Social Council (ECOSOC), Committee on the Welfare of the Child, and Expert Committee on Women will also be invited.
V. Expected outcome
It is expected that at the end of the launch, the outcome will be as follows:
- AU.COMMIT Campaign to Combat Trafficking publicized;
- The Ouagadougou Action Plan popularized;
- The public, media and civil society informed of the AU.COMMIT Strategy;
- Media coverage of the launch of AU.COMMIT increased;
- Public awareness of the future activities and programmes of AU on trafficking at the continental, regional and national level increased;
- The other efforts of partners and civil society on combating trafficking supported and reinforced;
- Cooperation among AU Commission, partners and Civil Society Organizations and the Media strengthened; and
- Coordination of the different departments of AU Commission enhanced.
V. Date and Format of the Launch
A one day launch will be convened at the Headquarter of the AU Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on June 16, 2009. The decision to hold this launch on the specified date is due to the significance of June 16 as the Day of the African Child. The launching of the AU.COMMIT Campaign on the same day would reinforce the celebration of the day as its main aim is the elimination of trafficking in human beings especially women and children.
The launch will have two separate events: the morning session of the launch will be dedicated for statements by key personalities and partner organizations supporting the AU.COMMIT Campaign; whereas the afternoon session will provide for exhibitions on the campaign.
Specific Activities for the Launch
DSA in collaboration with the AUC Information and Communication Division and partners will perform the following activities
- Special Webpage for AU.COMMIT Campaign on the AU Commission Website
- Special Message by H.E The Chairperson and the Commissioner for Social Affairs, and other documents and interviews on the Webpage
- Message from AU Commission through press and films
- A recorded message from the Commissioner for Social Affairs sent to print and broadcast outlets including Ethiopian Television, Radio and Press
- AUC Press Conference (During the scheduled coffee break)
- H.E The Chairperson and other key personalities and dignitaries will launch the AU.COMMIT Campaign to Combat Trafficking on the first day of the workshop
- Post on the Web Ouagadougou Action Plan, Strategy Document, Concept Note, Programme of the Launch
- Link to partners web contents on Trafficking to AU Website
- Media Advisory (two weeks before the launch)
- Pre-Press Release to invite the press
- Organize Interview with ETV in English and local languages
- Selection of participants, Invitations and Confirmation
- Selection of Speakers, Invitation and Confirmation
- Selection of Victims/ Survivors
- Finalization of Programme
- AUC Inter-departmental coordination meetings
- Exhibition arrangements
- Selection of Films
- Information and Communication Division will produce TV spots
- Airtime will be bought at Meskel square in Addis Ababa (including support messages and clips)
- 1000 copies of the Ouagadougou Action Plan will be published and distributed
- 1000 T-shirts will be distributed with slogan of ‘AU.COMMIT: Stop Trafficking’
- 1000 copies of small pamphlets, pins, posters, photos, banners, AU.COMMIT
(a) Working documents
- African Common Position on Migration and Development.
- Migration Policy Framework for Africa
- Joint Africa-EU Declaration on Migration and Development
- Ouagadougou Action Plan
- AU Plan of Action on Drug Control and Crime Prevention
(b) Background documents will include:
The UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (2000) and other relevant documents such as UN.GIFT