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Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking

The modern day slave trade.

Whilst abolishing slavery 150 years ago, there are now more people in slavery through human trafficking than at any other time in our history.

An estimated 1.2 million children every year are trafficked.

The average age of a trafficked victim is 14 years old.

Half of the trafficked victims are less than 16 years old

United Nations Office Drugs Crime Report UNODC

Statistics say the most common form of human trafficking is sexual exploitation (79%), predominantly women (66%) and girls (13%).  However, in some parts of the world, the trafficking of women by women is normal. After that, the second most common form of human trafficking is forced labour (18%) reported to be less frequently detected.  For instance, worldwide, almost 20% of all trafficking victims are children.  However, in some parts of Africa and the Mekong region, children are the majority with up to 100% in some areas of West Africa.  For instance, data shows that intra-regional and domestic trafficking are the primary forms of trafficking in persons.

The report is from article 3 of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Traffickers.  The Convention on Transnational Organised Crime from 2000, defines trafficking as: “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person, employing the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion.  Also, of abduction, of fraud, of deception and the abuse of power.  Also, of a position of vulnerability or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person.  Similarly, control over another person for the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation.  In addition, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery or servitude or the removal of organs”.

Coming into force in 2003 was the United Nations Protocol against Trafficking in Persons.  This was the first international agreement in this area.  Above all, the reports show that in the past few years, the number of member states seriously implementing the protocol has more than doubled. For instance, from 54 to 125 out of 155 States covered.  However, there are still many countries that lack the necessary legal instruments or political will. Similarly, the head of the UNODC called on governments and social scientists to improve information gathering and sharing on human trafficking.  “More must be done to reduce the vulnerability of victims, increase the risks to traffickers and lower the demand for the goods and services of modern-day slaves,” he said.

SOURCE: The A21 Campaign, Human Trafficking Statistics, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Anti-Slavery.

Here's how you can help

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