The UN.GIFT Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking

UN.GIFT aims to mobilize state and non-state players to eradicate human trafficking by reducing both the vulnerability of potential victims and the demand for exploitation in all its forms; ensuring adequate protection and support to those who do fall victim, as well as efficient prosecution of the criminals involved. The Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking will take place in Vienna, Austria, 13-15 February 2008, to raise awareness about human trafficking. More than 1’000 participants are awaited.


The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) was launched in March 2007 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) together with the International Labour Organization (ILO); the International Organization for Migration (IOM); the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Aim of the meeting

The Vienna Forum will bring together representatives from Member States, UN system organizations, other regional and international organizations, the business community, academia, non-governmental organizations and other elements of civil society. The objective of The Vienna Forum is to raise awareness, facilitate cooperation and partnerships among the various stakeholders. The Vienna Forum will consist of plenary sessions and a variety of panel discussions and workshops especially designed to address the multi-faceted dimensions of human trafficking.

A global alliance against forced labour gains momentum given by Roger Plant, Head of the ILO's Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour; Brent Wilton, Deputy Secretary-General of the International Organization of Employers; and Neil Kearney, General Secretary of the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation during the Vienna Forum Against Human Trafficking, showing strong support for a global alliance to abolish forced labour by 2015.

ILO’s workshops

During the Vienna Forum, the ILO will organize 3 sessions:

  • Supply Chain Management – Eliminating the Risks of Forced Labour and Trafficking
  • Demand for Forced Labour and Sexual Exploitation – How and Why it Fuels Human Trafficking
  • The Roles of Employers’ Organisations, Businesses and Trade Unions in Combating Trafficking for Labour Exploitation

Please find details on each session as follows.

Supply Chain Management
Wed. February 13, 2008 14:30 – 16:00

Moderator: Mr. Roger Plant, Head, Special action programme to combat forced labour, ILO

Confirmed speakers:

  • Mr. Brent Wilton, Deputy Secretary-General, International Organisation of Employers
  • Mr. Neil Kearney, General Secretary, International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation
  • Ms. Lakshmi Bhatia, Director, Social Responsibility, Gap, Inc.
  • Mr. David Arkless, Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs, Manpower; with Ms. Klara Skrivankova, Trafficking Programme Coordinator, Anti-Slavery International
  • Mr. Ian Spaulding, Former Director of Global Compliance, Sears
  • With comment by: Mr. John Morrison, Director, Business & Human Rights Associates

Demand for Forced Labour and Sexual Exploitation
Thurs. February 14, 2008 11:00 – 12:30

Moderator: Ms. Beate Andrees, Anti-Trafficking Programme Officer, ILO

Confirmed speakers:

  • Ambassador Mark P. Lagon, Director, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State
  • Ms. Nicola Phillips, Professor, Director of the Centre for the Study of Political Economy, University of Manchester
  • Mr. Simon Steyne, International Officer, EU & International Relations Department, Trades Union Congress
  • Ms. Andrea Bolzon, National Project Manager, Project to Combat Human Trafficking and Forced Labour, ILO Brazil

The Roles of Employers’ Organisations, Businesses and Trade Unions in Combating Trafficking for Labour Exploitation
Thurs. February 14, 2008 16:00 – 17:30

Moderator: Zsolt Dudas, Chief Technical Advisor, ILO Anti-trafficking Project Caucasus

Confirmed speakers:

  • Mr. Volodymyr Gryshchenko, Director General, Federation of Employers of Ukraine
  • Mr. Aniano Bagabaldo, Vice President, Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines
  • Ms. Binda Pandey, Deputy Secretary General, General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT)
  • Mr. Francis B. Wangara, General Secretary, Union of Sugar, Plantation & Allied Workers, Kenya

You can find all speeches and presentations at