Human Trafficking

UNODC and Trafficking in Persons: News, Events and Publications
  • 2009-01-26 14:37:54.0
    UNODC video spot 'Better Life' - trafficking in human beings

    The focus of this award-winning spot is the trafficking in men, women and children for forced labour, such as in factories, fields or as domestic servants. The spot aims to warn potential victims about the dangers of trafficking, and to raise awareness among the general public of this growing problem.

  • 2009-01-24 00:00:00.0
    Descent into the heart of darkness

    "We lined up the villagers, about 20 of them, and chopped their hands with a machete. They dropped to the ground screaming. We cracked their skulls."

    Opoko is a handsome boy with vivid eyes, in his late teens and a former child-soldier whom I met at a camp in the town of Gulu, northern Uganda, organized by UNODC and the ICC Trust Fund for Victims.

    Child-soldiers, their victimization and exploitation for violence against civilians, are a dramatic case of contemporary slavery - one that UNODC is committed to fight in the four corners of the world as part of our anti-human trafficking initiative (UN.GIFT).

    Read about the Executive Director's mission to Uganda and the dramatic stories reported to him by dozens of children in conflict.

    There is no return from the heart of darkness.

  • 2009-01-06 15:11:00.0
    Video spot - Telephone (2003)

    The spot seeks to empower victims of human trafficking by showing that it may be possible to escape forced labour situations. UNODC worked closely with local partners in the distribution of the spot to add a telephone number where victims are able to receive assistance and support.

    Duration: 0:45

  • 2008-12-02 16:57:36.0
    Abolishing slavery, eradicating human trafficking

    Hand holding the "key to freedom"2 December 2008 - Today is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, commemorating the abolition of the slave trade by Britain some 200 years ago. At an International People's Lecture organized last week by the NGO Stop The Traffik, lawyer Cherie Booth QC said freedom from slavery was the very first human right recognized by international law.

  • 2008-11-30 00:00:00.0
    Expert Group Meeting to elaborate training materials to combat migrant smuggling

    Between 30 November and 2 December 2008, expert law enforcers and prosecutors from around the world gathered in Saly, Senegal, to share their experience in investigating and prosecuting migrant smuggling with a view to providing practical input to the elaboration of basic training modules on preventing and combating the Smuggling of Migrants.

    The meeting was hosted by the UNODC Regional Office for West and Central Africa, together with Europol and Interpol, and with the assistance of the UNODC Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa. The meeting was made possible through funding received from the European Union.

    Expert participants came from Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Senegal, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America as well as Interpol and Europol....

  • 2008-11-21 10:41:13.0
    Migrant Smuggling A deadly business
  • 2008-11-21 10:26:10.0
    UNODC Smuggling of Migrants

    UNODC, as the guardian the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the Protocols thereto, assists States in their efforts to implement the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air (Migrants Protocol).

  • 2008-11-20 00:00:00.0
    Impact programme

    An example of UNODC's assistance to States in implementing the Protocol is UNODC's Impact Programme which aims to support States in West and North Africa in implementing the Migrant Smuggling Protocol and strengthen criminal justice systems by;

    • Establishing adequate legislative frameworks
    • Building the capacities of law enforcement, prosecution and the judiciary
    • Strengthening international and regional cooperation, and
    • Fostering prevention through raising awareness among relevant authorities and the general public


  • 2008-10-31 10:26:34.0
    News and Events

    News and Events - Anti-Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Unit

  • 2008-10-30 17:01:42.0
    UNODC Publications - Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling

    Browse and download UNODC's anti-trafficking and anti-smuggling tools and publications.


    Training Materials


    Technical and Issue Paper


    Audio and Video

    Catalogue of Materials

  • 2008-10-30 10:36:33.0
    What is Human Trafficking?
  • 2008-10-20 14:23:37.0
    Lebanon: UNODC launches report on trafficking

    Report cover20 October 2008 - According to a newly released national report, only 60 cases involving victims of human trafficking are officially identified every year in Lebanon. These include cases that are either processed through the courts or through the national Complaints Office.

  • 2008-10-15 14:26:00.0
    Trafficking in Lebanon
  • 2008-10-09 16:00:25.0
    Toolkit to Combat Trafficking in Persons
  • 2008-09-24 12:01:00.0
    UN.GIFT Emma Thompson (2008)

    Following her appearance at the Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking in February 2008, in this Public Service Announcement (PSA), Emma Thompson voices for the victims of human trafficking.

  • 2008-09-24 11:22:00.0
    UN.GIFT Emma Thompson (2008)

    Emma ThompsonFollowing her appearance at the Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking in February 2008, in this Public Service Announcement (PSA), Emma Thompson voices for the victims of human trafficking.

  • 2008-09-18 16:14:29.0
    UNODC strengthens anti-trafficking units

    Human trafficking in Central America18 September 2008 - Central America is hard hit by human trafficking. In countries like Guatemala, organized criminal groups prey on poverty and desperation to recruit victims through force and deception. To support anti-trafficking efforts, earlier this year UNODC started providing assistance to specialized anti-trafficking units in Guatemala and the region.

  • 2008-07-01 12:33:00.0

    In July 2008, the Ibero American Association of Public Prosecutors Offices (AIAMP), the highest political penal prosecution instance in the region, resolved to recognize UNODC project against trafficking in persons (XCAS26) in Central America as a model program to be replicated in other countries.

    WorkshopFocused on strengthening investigative capacities of prosecutors and police services, the XCAS26 program brings to the table an innovative methodology in the provision of technical assistance: training material and trainer's guidelines are produced jointly with the beneficiaries of the project. Felipe De La Torre, UNODC crime prevention expert and project coordinator based in Mexico City comments: "By involving our future trainees in the actual elaboration of tailor-made capacity building tools, UNODC is able to ensure a legitimate and democratic process that empowers public officials and suits real needs". UNODC and its partner ILANUD (United Nations Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of the Offenders) are currently carrying out workshops in each Central American country in order to enrich and validate these tools which will serve as the basic material for an intensive training phase beginning in 2010.

  • 2008-06-09 17:42:05.0
    Encountering human trafficking in Bolivia

    9 June 2008 - When I first served the United Nations in Bolivia (from 1991 to 1994), trafficking in persons was not an issue. Only drug trafficking was discussed. Now, this has definitely changed. I returned to Bolivia in early 2007 when Evo Morales, the first indigenous President of Bolivia, had just completed his first year as head of Government. He has made a strong commitment to the elimination of discrimination against the indigenous population.

  • 2008-06-04 16:33:05.0
    United Nations General Assembly urges stronger action against human trafficking

    4 June 2008 - At any given time, millions of people are probably suffering the exploitation of modern-day slavery.  No country is immune from human trafficking, a crime that that shames us all. UNODC reports that victims from 127 countries undergo exploitation in 135 nations. And human trafficking is big business. The United Nations and other experts estimate the total market value of illicit human trafficking at $32 billion.

  • 2008-05-21 00:15:00.0
    Video spot - Cleaning Woman (2003)

    The spot calls on the general public to take action against human trafficking by showing a woman helping a victim escape her forced labour situation.  UNODC worked closely with local partners in the distribution of the spot to add a telephone hotline number at the end for help or more information.

    Duration: 0:45

  • 2008-04-27 00:00:00.0
    Human Trafficking Public Service Announcement

    Human Trafficking Public Service Announcement

  • 2008-04-18 17:55:00.0
    Electronic Toolkit Chapter 8 Victim Assistance
  • 2008-04-18 17:55:00.0
    Electronic Toolkit Chapter 9 Prevention of Trafficking in Persons
  • 2008-04-18 17:55:00.0
    electronic toolkit chapter 7 immigration status of victims and their return and reintegration
  • 2008-04-18 17:54:00.0
    Electronic Toolkit Chapter 3 Legislative Framework
  • 2008-04-18 17:54:00.0
    Electronic Toolkit Chapter 6 Victim Identification
  • 2008-04-18 17:54:00.0
    Electronic Toolkit Chapter 10 Monitoring and Evaluation
  • 2008-04-18 17:54:00.0
    Electronic Toolkit Chapter 1 International Legal Framework
  • 2008-04-18 17:54:00.0
    electronic toolkit chapter 5 law enforcement and prosecution
  • 2008-04-18 17:54:00.0
    Electronic Toolkit Chapter 4 International Criminal Justice Cooperation
  • 2008-04-18 17:54:00.0
    Electronic Toolkit Chapter 2 - Problem Assessment and Strategy Development
  • 2008-04-18 17:53:00.0
    Electronic Toolkit to Combat Trafficking in Persons - Index
  • 2008-04-08 16:01:26.0
    Ricky Martin raises awareness on human trafficking in Cambodia

    Ricky Martin speaks at Vienna Forum. Photo: UNODC/M. Borovansky-Konig8 April 2008 - A month after attending the Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking, under the umbrella of the UN Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT), Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin recently visited Cambodia to promote the fight against this heinous crime.

  • 2008-03-07 10:11:23.0
    Ghana: young boys releasing fish from fishing nets

    Lake Volta, Ghana: the internal trafficking of children for cheap labour is one of the biggest challenges.

  • 2008-02-26 14:52:00.0
    UNODC chief talks about trafficking challenge

    Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty caught up with Executive Director Costa on the sidelines of the UN-organized Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking in mid-February to discuss international efforts to combat "modern-day slavery." He told correspondent Eugen Tomiuc about the birth of the Global Initiative To Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) and the obstacles to more effective policing.

  • 2008-02-22 16:41:50.0
    Fighting human trafficking in Central America

    Photo: Timo Nasseri22 February 2008 - In a recent event at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in San Salvador, El Salvador, UNODC launched a regional project aimed at strengthening national and regional capacities to fight trafficking in persons in Central America. The event marked the official beginning of an important initiative to support law enforcement, prosecutorial and judicial authorities of the region, which is gravely affected by this crime.

  • 2008-02-22 12:00:00.0
    Cultures of exploitation

    I was buoyed by the institutional impact, awareness building and policy pledges made in last week's Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking, all of which went beyond my expectations. Nevertheless, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and we will never end human trafficking until we change the way women are portrayed. I do not like to see women in burkas, nor do I appreciate seeing half-naked girls featured in provocative fashion ads, both of which may be a form of female exploitation.

  • 2008-02-21 11:12:13.0
    Closing remarks: Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking
  • 2008-02-15 19:10:36.0
    Costa: Vienna Forum "tipping point"

    UN.GIFT logo15 February 2008 - The Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking, which this week brought together 1,400 delegates from 116 countries to share knowledge and develop an international strategy to combat human trafficking, called for greater awareness, more resources and coordinated action in the fight against human trafficking.

  • 2008-02-14 18:00:37.0
    Ricky Martin: “React, it’s time”

    Photo: UNODC/M. Borovansky-Koenig14 February 2008 - Music star and activist Ricky Martin told participants at the Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking on Wednesday that music had given him "an excuse to talk to people about this global nightmare."

  • 2008-02-14 12:00:00.0
    A Journey with Emma Thompson

    The picture is all over the newspapers. British actress Emma Thompson with no shoes on, sitting on the podium of the Austrian Parliament.

    For those of us who witnessed this performance, it deserved an Oscar. She ran about, cried, tore out her hair - waking up an audience of sleepy parliamentarians with a moving monologue from the perspective of a trafficking victim. It was a spectacle never seen before in such hallowed halls. The mock trial that followed kept the audience glued to their seats.

  • 2008-02-13 18:17:15.0
    Tracking a monster

    UNODC Executive Director Costa13 February 2008 - UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa gave the following opening statement at the Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking:

  • 2008-02-13 18:16:42.0
    "This is not a journey that anyone should take"

    Part of the "Journey" art installation13 February 2008 - British actress Emma Thompson opened a harrowing new art installation yesterday that graphically depicts the terrifying ordeal of a woman sold into the sex trade. Kicking off the Vienna Forum on Human Trafficking, Thompson warned that human trafficking had increased "exponentially" over the past decade and that traffickers were "fantastically sophisticated". 

  • 2008-02-13 13:42:42.0
    Human trafficking: A crime that shames us all
  • 2008-02-12 11:52:52.0
    Video spot - Open your eyes to human trafficking (UN.GIFT)

    To coincide with the Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking, UN.GIFT has produced a new Public Service Announcement video spot. The theme - a man walks through a market without realising the human trafficking crimes happening around him - calls for people to open their eyes to human trafficking.

    Duration: 0:30 and 0:60

  • 2008-02-12 11:11:28.0
    What is UN.GIFT?

    Troels VesterTroels Vester from UNODC's Anti-Human Trafficking Unit speaks about UN.GIFT.

    Duration: 7:16

  • 2008-02-12 11:01:03.0
    Radio spots - Support the Fight Against Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT)

    UN.GIFT A series of audio public service announcements has been produced within the framework of UN.GIFT. Using real-life examples from around the globe, these radio spots show that by joining forces action can be taken against this crime. UNODC encourages broadcasters around the world to support UN.GIFT by airing these PSAs.

    PSA 1 - Victims can be freed from situations of exploitation (Duration: 0:30)

  • 2008-02-12 10:59:50.0
    First ever global forum on human trafficking to launch united campaign to fight the crime
  • 2008-02-11 17:11:22.0
    Let us not close our eyes

    UN-GIFT - Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking11 February 2008 - Each day, people are recruited, transported and abducted for purposes such as forced labour and sexual exploitation. The Film Forum on Human Trafficking - coinciding with the Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking - will feature 18 films that show the many aspects of this crime.