7 January 2019 - The number of human trafficking victims is on the rise, while armed groups and terrorists are trafficking women and children to generate funds and recruit, according to the latest Global Report on Trafficking in Persons launched today in Vienna.
The report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was presented by UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov at a special event of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) with Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl. Drawing on information from 142 countries, the report examines trafficking trends and patterns, and puts the spotlight on human trafficking in armed conflict.
"Child soldiers, forced labour, sexual slavery - human trafficking has taken on horrific dimensions as armed groups and terrorists use it to spread fear and gain victims to offer as incentives to recruit new fighters," said Mr. Fedotov in his remarks.
"This Report shows that we need to step up technical assistance and strengthen cooperation, to support all countries to protect victims and bring criminals to justice, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals."
Minister Kneissl highlighted the importance of the Global Report in supporting UN Member States to devise targeted, informed responses to this "grave violation of human rights and human dignity".
"Sound information and a solid base of evidence for our policies are two of the most important things to fight this disgusting crime in the most efficient way possible. We simply need to know what it actually is we are dealing with," she said.
Globally, countries are detecting and reporting more victims and convicting more traffickers, according to the report. It also found a clear increase in the number of children being trafficked, who now account for 30 per cent of all detected victims, with far more girls detected than boys. Sexual exploitation continues to be the main purpose for trafficking, accounting for some 59 per cent.
Ambassador Alena Kupchyna of Belarus, who chairs the 28th session of the Crime Commission and moderated the event, said that tackling the global challenge of human trafficking is at the heart of the Commission's work.
"Practically every nation is affected by this crime, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination of victims," she said. "Therefore, I take this opportunity to highlight the crucial role of international cooperation and partnerships to address this crime effectively. I call the Member States to continue working together maintaining the topic of trafficking in persons high in the Commission's busy agenda."