Director General/Executive Director
Opening Remarks at the Presentation to Member States of the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2012
12 February 2013, New York
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to be here today to present to you the findings of the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2012.
The report was mandated by the General Assembly and is based on the analysis of a large volume of data collected from official sources.
The report was undertaken for a simple reason: if we want to succeed in confronting human trafficking in all its manifestations, we must better understand its scope and its nature.
We need to appreciate where human trafficking is occurring, who are its victims and who is perpetrating this crime.
All of this information is provided in the report, and as such, it represents the foundation for our continued activities against this transnational crime.
Let me also add that, as the report shows, human trafficking is a multi-dimensional crime affecting not just countries, or regions, but the globe.
Exact figures for this crime are also difficult to quantify. So much of human trafficking is either hidden from society, or is hiding in plain sight.
Seen, but not recognised.
However, what we can say with certainty is that there are millions of victims who are earning billions of dollars for the criminal networks who exploit them.
And, based on the report, between 2007 and 2012, human trafficking victims from 136 nationalities were detected in 118 countries.
At least 460 trafficking flows were also identified during the same period.
Given the widespread nature of this modern form of slavery, we need to build a coordinated approach at local, regional and international levels.
This means strengthening criminal justice systems, providing victim assistance and protection, safeguarding human rights, as well as developing complementary migration policies and labour regulations.
I am glad to say that we have a framework for these activities.
It is the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, which supplements the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
I urge every country to ratify the UN Convention against transnational organized crime as well as the protocol.
But we need to go further. There must also be full implementation, if every nation is to confront this crime.
I am glad to say that we also have the strong support of nations through the 2010 General Assembly Resolution, which adopted the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, and the Trust Fund to protect its victims.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Just as this crime crosses borders, so must our willingness to cooperate and to share information.
I hope that all of you will continue to provide support and assistance to the Global Trafficking in Persons Report.
Finally, let me say that, whether a nation, a company, a civil society organization, or an individual, we all have an obligation to work together to end this crime.