The First Global Conference Against Trafficking in Women, attended by over 500 women from different countries in New York in October 1988, launched the CATW.

In 1989, the Coalition was granted Category II Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

The Expert Group Meeting on Sexual Exploitation sponsored by the UNESCO Division of Human Rights and the CATW was held at the Penn State University, Pennsylvania, USA on April 1991. The meeting produced the Penn State Report, which contained a draft of the proposed Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Sexual Exploitation.

In April 1993, the “Conference on Women Empowering Women: A Human Rights Conference on Trafficking in Asian Women” held in Manila, Philippines gave birth to the CATW – Asia Pacific.

On June 26-29, 1998, CATW convened a regional meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with the theme :Organizing Against Sexual Exploitation”. The was attended by 104 participants from all over Asia, coming from the NGOs directly working on trafficking, as well as international organizations and governments.

An international conference on “Organizing and Strategizing Against Sexual Exploitation” was held in January, 1999 also in Dhaka. This was attended by 250 participants from Asia, North America, Latin America, Europe and Africa. It reaffirmed the common perspectives on sexual exploitation, especially of women and children.

Over the years, The Coalition in partnership with its networks, initiated programs to promote women’s human rights and assists victims of trafficking, prostitution, and all forms of violence against women in the Asia-Pacific region.

Recently, CATW successfully lobbied for a definition of trafficking that ensures the protection of victims and prevention of trafficking of women through the Optional Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, supplementing the UN Convention Against Trans-national Organized Crime


-To promote awareness on women’s human rights and initiate action against global sexual exploitation and violence against women, particularly prostitution and trafficking;

-To lobby against sexual exploitation in all its forms in appropriate UN bodies and other international fora, as well as in regional levels;

-To promote research on the causes, patterns and impact of prostitution and trafficking women;

-To help promote international solidarity and cooperation to combat sexual exploitation

-To support survivors of trafficking, prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation.