Victim rights

We work with ASEAN Member States to ensure implementation of ACTIP commitments, especially in connection to victim rights.

The ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) represents a collective statement of the region’s commitment to fighting the exploitation of its citizen.

Find out more about ASEAN-ACT activities to support victim rights by subscribing to our e-newsletter or by reading our case studies and stories.

Dimensions of victim rights in the ASEAN context

The ACTIP provides clear obligations for ASEAN Member States to protect the rights of trafficking victims. For example, it provides for victim identification in one country to be recognised automatically in another. It also provides for identified victims to have access to assistance and specifies that victims should not be held unreasonably in detention before, during or after legal or administrative proceedings.

Victim identification
Non-criminalisation and conditionality
Right to information about rights
Right to legal assistance
Right to remedy

Terminology – ‘victims’ and ‘survivors’

ASEAN-ACT routinely uses the term ‘victim’, not ‘survivor’, to refer to people who are trafficked. However, both terms are valid and have different implications when used in the context of law and justice, advocacy and service provision.

The term ‘victim’ has legal consequences within the criminal justice process. It refers to an individual who has suffered harm as a result of criminal conduct. The laws that give individuals particular rights and legal standing within the criminal justice system use the term ‘victim’. Law enforcement agencies such as police also use the term ‘victim’ when talking about crime.

‘Survivor’ is a term widely used by service providers and advocacy groups. It recognises the strength and courage people show in overcoming victimisation.