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Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Human Trafficking, International, International Human Rights, Women, Womens Rights

Mission: CATW is a non-governmental organization that works to end human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls worldwide. CATW is the world’s first organization to fight human trafficking internationally and is the world’s leading abolitionist organization. Since 1988, CATW has provided widely recognized leadership on local, national, regional, and international levels, in promoting legislative, policy and educational measures to raise awareness about the root causes of human trafficking. CATW holds Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and was a key consultant at the UN Transnational Organized Crime Meeting from 1999-2000 the outcome of which is the Palermo Protocol, the world’s most recognized legal instrument on human trafficking. CATW and our partners engage in advocacy, education, victim services and prevention programs for victims of trafficking and prostitution in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and North America, including the United States.

Geographic areas served: CATW and our partners engage in advocacy, education, victim services and prevention programs for victims of trafficking and prostitution in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and North America, including the United States.

Programs: Aiding Victims of Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation CATW provides multi-level services, financial aid, emergency health care, psychological support, housing, and legal advocacy for victims of sex trafficking. We help to create and support employment opportunities for women and girls who have been sexually exploited. Ending the Demand The demand for the bodies of women and girls for commercial sex is the root cause of human trafficking. To end the demand, we carry out groundbreaking programs to educate male youth about the harms of commercial sexual exploitation to women and girls, themselves and to communities. Redefining Prostitution Law CATW advocates for and drafts new policy and legislation on local, national, and international levels to prevent women and girls from becoming victims of human trafficking and hold the traffickers, pimps, and buyers accountable. CATW testifies before national congresses, parliaments, law reform commissions, and regional and UN committees and commissions. Our work has helped to pass key legislation including the 2007 NY State Anti-Trafficking Law, the nations strongest anti-trafficking legislation under which sex trafficking is a class B Felony, as well as the Safe Harbor Act, the first law to recognize prostituted youth and sex trafficking victims. The Nordic Model CATW is a chief promoter of the Nordic Model, the world’s first human rights based legal approach to ending human trafficking. It is the world’s first law to recognize prostitution as violence against women and a violation of human rights. It criminalizes the purchase of commercial sex and offers the exploited an exit strategy. The Nordic Model originated in Sweden (1999), and has been passed in the Republic of Korea (South Korea, 2004), Norway (2009), and Iceland (2009). Prevention To prevent women and children from becoming victims of human trafficking, we carry out programs to educate youth, government officials, teachers, professionals, law enforcement and the public about the harm of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Education CATW works for a shift towards public understanding that victims of sex trafficking and prostituted women and children are not criminals but are the most exploited among us. CATW works to raise awareness around the realities of commercial sexual exploitation, the end point of sex trafficking. Activism CATW engages in creative, principled advocacy and campaigns to create a world where sex trafficking no longer exists. As part of CATW’s Global Campaign for a Sex Trafficking Free Internet, we led the successful protest in front of Craigslist’s corporate headquarters in San Francisco, CA that resulted in the removal of their “Adult Services” section, which was facilitating sex trafficking in the US and internationally. CATW continues to work to create a sex trafficking free internet by holding Backpage.com owned by Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC, accountable for the untold number of human beings whose rank exploitation continues to be carried out through the prostitution ads hosted on their website.

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