December 5, 2022

Trafficking in persons in the agricultural sector: human rights due diligence and sustainable development – Report of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Siobhán Mullally (A/HRC/50/33 ) [EN/AR/RU/ZH] – World


human rights council
Fiftieth session
June 13–July 8, 2022
Agenda Item 3
Promotion and protection of all human, civil,
political, economic, social and cultural rights,
including the right to development


This report of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Siobhán Mullally, has been prepared pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 44/4.

Characterized by high levels of informality, lack of monitoring and protection, human trafficking remains a serious concern in the agricultural sector, affecting both adults and children. Temporary, seasonal and migrant workers enjoy limited protection and remain at risk of exploitation. Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, migration status, gender and disability creates conditions in which trafficking occurs with impunity. Restrictive migration policies persist, despite the demand for agricultural workers. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has seen agricultural workers designated as “essential,” but this has not led to improved worker protections or expanded safe migration pathways. Child labor remains widespread in the agricultural sector, with significant risks of trafficking affecting both boys and girls. The growth of agribusiness and corporate power, combined with the rapid pace of climate change, have further exacerbated the risks of human trafficking. Agriculture, and more specifically intensive agriculture, contributes negatively to climate change, reflecting the broader link between human trafficking, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and the climate crisis. Land inequality, which particularly affects women and girls, remains a key driver of exploitation, including trafficking for forced labour. Linked to the legacy of colonialism, conflict, patriarchal family and state structures, and racial discrimination, land inequality is exacerbated by the growth of large-scale industrial agriculture models and the limited application of international human rights law. human rights and labor standards. This report examines the persistence of human trafficking in the agricultural sector, particularly for the purpose of forced labor. In the report, the Special Rapporteur highlights the importance of mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence measures to combat human trafficking in the agricultural sector in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.