GREAT was convened as a Non-Governmental Organization in support of the provisions of Annex II of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (55/25). GREAT is structured to support Article 4 which calls for “ the prevention, investigation and prosecution of the offences established in accordance with article 5 of this Protocol, where those offences are transnational in nature and involve an organized criminal group, as well as to the protection of victims of such offences.”
GREAT was convened to support Part III of Article 9, with the Prevention of trafficking in persons in supporting States to “establish comprehensive policies, programs and other measures: (a) To prevent and combat trafficking in persons; and (b) To protect victims of trafficking in persons, especially women and children, from re-victimization.”
This includes initiatives such as research, information and mass media campaigns in addition to social and economic initiatives to prevent and combat trafficking in persons.
In furtherance of Article 10 of the UN convention, GREAT will support “Information exchange and training for Law enforcement, immigration or other relevant authorities of States, and as appropriate, (support their) cooperation with one another (by facilitating) exchanging information, in accordance with their domestic law, to enable them to determine… the means and methods used by organized criminal groups for the purpose of trafficking in persons, including the recruitment and transportation of victims, routes and links between and among individuals and groups engaged in such trafficking, and possible measures for detecting them.”
GREAT will also support States in the provisioning or strengthen of training for law enforcement, immigration and other relevant officials in the prevention of trafficking in persons, recognizing that the training should focus on methods used in preventing such trafficking, prosecuting the traffickers and protecting the rights of the victims, including protecting the victims from the traffickers.
The UN Convention recognized that both state agencies and non-governmental organizations were required to cooperate in order to effectively combat human trafficking. As a consequent, GREAT has been established as a Technical Assistance Non-Governmental Organization and multi-sectoral coordination center to support all agencies and sectors in the international fight against human trafficking.
In 2010, the leadership of the FBI National Academy Associates (FBI-NAA) undertook consultation with global police leaders, who identified human trafficking as the single largest emerging threat to public and community safety.
In response to this input, the FBI NAA in collaboration with the International Police Training Institute undertook a series of annual summits, calling upon police, NGO’s, law enforcement, academics, government, legislators, media and international organizations.
The summit process sought to draw upon the cumulative knowledge, and group synergy to identify both successes and gaps in efforts to combat human trafficking.
The outcome of this multi-year process was the identification that resource and research coordination, information and intelligence development and dissemination were major components that were missing in the efforts to combat human trafficking.
Therefore in consultation in summit participants, supported by specialist in organizational design, what organically emerged from this effort was an understanding of the key areas that needed support, synthesized down to: Create intelligence; Build Capacity; Provide Access to Information & to Convene Dialogue.
All of the services and elements that we’re identified as existing gaps in current efforts to combat human trafficking, existed as elements of the UN General Assembly Resolution (55/25), including the initiative to engage with non-governmental organizations and civil society in furtherance of the goals of the resolution.
Therefore, with a global spectrum of participants identifying the existing service gap in the UN Resolution to combat human trafficking, the participants in this process committed to build that capacity, and established a registered Canadian charity with a global slate of Directors who had a long history of working to combat human trafficking. That was the birth of GREAT.