The Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons
What is ICAT?
The Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT) is a policy forum mandated to improve coordination among UN agencies and other relevant international organizations to facilitate an integrated approach to preventing and combating trafficking in persons.
ICAT was established in 2007, pursuant to the General Assembly Resolution 61/180, to enhance cooperation and coordination among the international community and facilitate a holistic and comprehensive approach to the problem of trafficking in persons.
In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 64/293, endorsing the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons and urging all responsible UN entities to coordinate their efforts to fight trafficking in persons effectively and to protect the human rights of its victims, including via the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT) and the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT).
The Global Plan of Action calls for strengthening and supporting ICAT to improve coordination and cooperation amongst relevant UN bodies, including UN human rights treaty bodies and mechanisms, and international organizations.
The first ICAT meeting was held in Tokyo in September 2006 in response to the ECOSOC Resolution 2006/27 , which called for strengthening the coordination of anti-trafficking efforts among relevant UN agencies and other organizations. ICAT was offcially established in March 2007 by General Assembly Resolution 61/180.
What does ICAT offer?
- Provide a platform for exchange of information, experiences and good practices on anti-trafficking activities of the partner agencies to share with Governments, international and regional organizations, NGOs and other relevant bodies.
- Encourage, support and review the activities of the UN and other international organizations with the aim of ensuring a full and comprehensive implementation of all international instruments and standards of relevance for the prevention and combating of trafficking in persons and protection of and support for victims of trafficking.
- Work towards a comprehensive, coordinated and holistic approach to human trafficking which is gender and age-sensitive and grounded in human rights based-approach
- Drawing on the comparative advantage of the respective agencies, promote effective and efficient use of existing resources, using, to the extent possible, mechanisms already in place at the regional and national level.
ICAT consultation processes:
ICAT has held yearly meetings since its first consultation in Tokyo 2006. In responding to call for a better coordinated response to effectively combat human trafficking, ICAT made a number of significant changes both to its structure and in its working processes. From 2010, instead of an annual meeting, it initiated a biannual face to face meeting in addition to tele and video conferences as needed to facilitate a better coordinated work among its member entities. The coordination role of ICAT was also strengthened by creation of a rotating chair with UNODC providing the mechanism with a permanent secretariat role. To further enhance greater ownership and shared responsibility, it was also agreed that at least one consultation will be hosted where Chair is head-quartered. Under this new structure, OHCHR held the role of the chair in 2011 and an ICAT event was held in on the sidelines of the Human Rights Council. UNICEF holds the chair for 2012 with a first 2012 meeting held in New York - a planned second meeting of ICAT for 2012 will be in Vienna during the COP in October (with a corresponding side event jointly hosted with sponsoring Member States).
Latest activity: ICAT interactive dialogue, New York (24 May) :
Objectives for this event were:
To inform Member States of the common anti-TIP priorities identified by ICAT members and create space for consultation and greater cohesion between actors. Additionally, to bring attention to the role and the work of ICAT in facilitating policy coordination between anti-TIP actors.
On 24 May 2012, an interactive dialogue and thematic discussion was held at the UN in New York by ICAT, together with the Permanent Mission of Sweden and ASEAN, under the title, Promoting common priorities and greater coherence in the fight against human trafficking for the coming decade . Technical experts from the ICAT working group participated in a panel discussion. The themes that were addressed by ICAT technical experts:
1. The International Legal Framework around trafficking: Critical Intersection and Complementary between Different Legal Regimes
2. Evaluating the Impact of Anti-Trafficking Responses (and Its Relevance to assess Progress in anti-working work)
3. Preventing Trafficking in Persons by addressing Demand
4. Addressing Vulnerabilities at Points of Destination and Origin
5. Providing Effective Remedies for Trafficked Persons