Week of June 5th, 2020 - NATO Headquarters in Brussels

An Action plan for NATO on Countering Human Trafficking in the Balkans 

Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute

Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute will carry out a project with NATO on best practices for countering sex trafficking in the Balkans under the direction of political philosopher Dr. Francis Fukuyama Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI).


Human Trafficking is a serious impediment to peace and security globally and the Balkans has been identified as an area of transit and destination. Students will address the root causes that underlie human trafficking and how NATO can successfully operationalize actions to counter human trafficking in the region, with a particular focus on women and girls.


As the political and military Alliance, NATO’s approach to human trafficking has been guided by its formal policy endorsed by Allies in 2004. As the policy has not been updated for 15 years, it could not take into account new global developments, emerging challenges and multifaceted realities that come with the issue. For its revision, NATO would therefore like to collect innovative ideas and recommendations directly from the field.


The project will run under the auspices of Clare Hutchinson, NATO’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security/Head of Human Security Unit.

Ms. Hutchinson will also allocate a subject-matter expert from her Office to serve as the academic project coordinator.


Deliverables and Impact

Students will provide recommended remedies for the issue of human trafficking tailored for NATO’s needs. To do so, students will develop a “Countering Human Trafficking in the Balkans Strategy”, which will include milestones, measurable key performance indicators (KPIs), recommendations and political statements for the Heads of States and Government and resources for NATO’s further work on the issue. The Strategy will also address ways NATO can cooperate with the UN and other international organizations on the issue and will build on their existing documents and practices, while considering NATO’s specific defense perspectives and needs. Students will travel to the Balkans in the spring and present their research results at a NATO event on Human Trafficking at NATO HQ in Brussels.


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