NATO member countries are all signatories to the UN Protocol on Trafficking in Persons. The Allies are keenly aware that human trafficking fuels corruption and organized crime, and therefore runs counter to NATO’s stabilization efforts in its theatres of operation. These considerations led to the development of the NATO policy on combating trafficking in human beings.
NATO does not see itself as the primary organization to combat trafficking in human beings, but is working to add value wherever it can. The policy was developed in consultation with EAPC countries and non-NATO troop contributors, as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations.
The zero-tolerance policy calls for military and civilian personnel and contractors taking part in NATO-led operations to receive appropriate training on standards of their behavior during the operations. The Allies also agreed to review national legislation and report on national efforts in this regard. In theatre, NATO-led forces, operating within the limits of their mandate, support the responsible host-country authorities in their efforts to combat trafficking in human beings.
Much of the responsibility for implementing the policy was assigned to NATO’s Military Committee given that it is troops from NATO and non-NATO nations participating in NATO-led operations who are the most likely to come into contact with trafficked individuals and trafficking rings. Guidance was then issued by the Strategic Commanders.
The policy is kept under review to make sure that it’s effectively implemented by Allies and Partners as well as NATO as an organization. A regular comprehensive review is conducted to provide policy and practical recommendations. These include measures to strengthen policies and provisions in specific operations, to enhance training and awareness raising among NATO forces as well as the evaluation and reporting of all related activities.
A Senior Coordinator on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (the NATO ASG for Defence Policy and Planning) coordinates all Alliance efforts in this field.