2021 – A Year in Review

Vienna (Austria), 20 April 2022

The Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has released its 2021 Annual Report, which highlights the main achievements of the Section during the past year.

“In 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to dominate our lives. But crime does not stop during times of crisis and neither did we,” says Section Chief, Ilias Chatzis.  

“Despite the ongoing restrictions, we continued to help countries develop and implement effective responses to human trafficking and migrant smuggling,” he adds.

Throughout 2021, hundreds of officials worldwide who work to prevent, investigate, and prosecute these crimes were trained and mentored by the Section’s crime prevention and criminal justice experts.

The new Annual Report documents the impact of these activities and the support provided for the development and revision of legislation and policies to counter human trafficking and migrant smuggling.

Furthermore, it presents details of studies that were published in 2021 in seven different languages and reports on UNODC’s first-ever Knowledge Week on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling.

The leading role of the Section in the organization of key events where UN Member States discuss the achievements and challenges of national and international responses to human trafficking and migrant smuggling and the protection of the people affected by these crimes is highlighted in the 2021 Report.

The Annual Report concludes with details of upcoming UN events , which will focus on the topics of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, and an acknowledgment for donor support.

“Human trafficking and migrant smuggling are global, widespread, and lucrative crimes that reduce people to commodities,” says Ilias Chatzis.

“Our goal is to ensure that countries are properly equipped to respond to these crimes, protect and assist the people who are exploited or abused, and secure convictions of the perpetrators.”

“This work would not be possible without the generous support of our donors who share our goal and continued to invest in us during 2021,” he adds.