Vienna (Austria), 4 February 2021 — The special event of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) - Launch of the 2020 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons - took place on 2 February 2021.
The 2020 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons is at its fifth edition and covers data from the world’s largest database on trafficking victims, compiling figures from official sources across 148 countries. It also analyses 489 court cases from 71 different countries, providing more qualitative information on the perpetrators and the characteristics of this crime.
The launch event was chaired by H.E. Ambassador Alessandro Cortese, Chair of the CCPCJ at its thirtieth session, who highlighted the paramount role of global partnerships and continuous collaboration among Member States and other stakeholders to effectively address the causes of trafficking persons. He further underscored the importance of effectively implementing the Trafficking in Persons Protocol supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, disseminating the fifth edition of the Global Report as well as the need for continued collection and sharing of evidence-based data on patterns, forms and flows of trafficking.
Executive Director, Ms. Ghada Waly, delivered opening remarks, underscoring that the UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2020, coupled with the technical assistance UNODC provided through its global programmes and field network, aimed to inform governments’ anti-trafficking responses, end impunity, and support victims as part of integrated efforts to build forward from the pandemic.
Next, H.E. Mr. Alexander Schallenberg, Austrian Federal Minister for European and International Affairs expressed his gratitude, commending UNODC for the efforts taken to combat the issue at hand. He focused on the importance of the report as it allows the data to be transformed into policies that benefit countries. With social isolation, school closures and rising poverty, he noted that COVID-19 had put more people at risk of trafficking.
H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir, President of the General Assembly highlighted the ongoing work and promotion of international cooperation yet noting the important work that needs to continue. He highlighted that social media and internet platforms had opened up new channels for trafficking and underlined the need to build on learnt experiences by adopting proactive and innovative decisions to address the abuse of digital platforms and reinforcing strategic efforts to combat this crime.
The findings of the report were presented by Ms. Kristiina Kangaspunta from the UNODC Crime Research Section. Additional insights were shared by Mr. Ilias Chatzis, UNODC Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section, Mr. Oliver Stolpe, UNODC Office Nigeria, Ms. Suruchi Pant, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia in New Delhi, Ms. Lourdes Gutierrez, UNODC Regional Office for Central America and Caribbean and Mr. Koen Marquering, UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia. Over 30 Member States and five civil society organizations made statements following the presentation of the report findings.