In Focus

ICMPD and UNODC will co-chair the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT) in 2022

16 November 2021


On 15 November 2021, the Third ICAT Principal Level Meeting took place. The meeting assessed the implementation of the group’s Plan of Action, adopted a joint statement related to the upcoming UN General Assembly’s High-Level meeting and endorsed ICMPD and UNODC as co-chairs of ICAT in 2022.

The third ICAT meeting at level of principals brought together the member organisations prior to the UN General Assembly’s High-Level meeting appraising the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons (22-23 November 2021). The participants took stock of the progress made in the implementation of the ICAT Plan of Action endorsed at the second Principals’ Meeting in 2020 and debated ways forward.

Furthermore, the ICAT members discussed the anti-trafficking priorities to be raised at the General Assembly’s High-Level meeting. In this regard, they endorsed a joint statement. The ICAT members reiterate their call to governments in all regions to urgently address the following priorities through state-led actions:

  • Address the core drivers of trafficking in persons – a shift towards reducing vulnerability.
  • Discourage the demand that fosters trafficking in persons.
  • Ensure a rights-based, child-friendly, gender-sensitive and victim and survivor-centered approach.
  • Hold traffickers accountable.
  • Build the evidence base on trafficking in persons.
  • Systematise cooperation and multi-stakeholder partnerships.

The closing topic of the meeting was the upcoming chairmanship. Earlier this year, ICMPD and UNODC have expressed their interest and commitment to take over this role. The meeting endorsed both organisations as co-chairs of the group in 2022. ICMPD Director General presented the main priorities for the next year:

  • The promotion of a regional focus to pilot ICAT’s initiatives with operational component.
  • The reinforcement of existing partnerships between ICAT member organisations and the promotion of joint programming at local level.
  • Structured collaboration of ICAT with civil society organisations, the academia and the private sector.
  • Continue shaping multi-lateral policy development on trafficking in persons.
  • Inclusion of survivor voices.
  • Continue to work on the mitigation of risks of trafficking in persons in public procurement, and  strengthening the relationship with the UN Task Force on Procurement.

ICAT is the United Nation’s lead policy forum to improve coordination among UN agencies and other relevant international organisations, mandated by the UN General Assembly. The group facilitates a holistic and comprehensive approach to preventing and combating trafficking in persons, including protection and support for victims. ICAT seeks to advance as a model of multilateralism within the UN system and beyond in the support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.

In 2016, ICMPD became one of the few non-UN organisations invited to be a member of ICAT. ICMPD’s goal within the group is to support the coordination work and feed its members with knowledge generated by ICMPD-led projects. ICMPD takes part in the implementation of ICAT Action Plan and supports ICAT initiatives by providing expert feedback and co-drafting number of Policy briefs dedicated to different aspects of combating trafficking in human beings.


More information on the work of the ICMPD Anti-Trafficking Programme can be found here.