VIENNA, 30 July 2019 - Human trafficking is a crime and violation that should have no place in our world. Yet 225,000 trafficking victims were detected between 2003 and 2016, and there are many, many more hidden victims who need our help.
Human trafficking happens in every country. It thrives in situations where the rule of law is weak and people lack opportunities. Humanitarian crises and conflicts create an environment in which traffickers easily prey upon the vulnerable. According to the latest Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, nearly three quarters of all detected trafficking victims worldwide are female. Thirty per cent are children.
This year's World Day against Trafficking in Persons is an opportunity to call governments to action, to protect victims and their rights, and hold perpetrators accountable.
The international community has made some headway. The Palermo Convention's Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children has been in force for more than 15 years. It has helped drive legislative action enabling improved detection of trafficking victims, more effective criminal justice responses, better prospects for prosecution and enhanced victim protection measures. More and more victims are being identified worldwide, and the number of countries reporting trafficking convictions continues to grow. But we must press on.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) supports countries to prevent and counter human trafficking through implementation of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol. The Office coordinates the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons and manages the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking. And through UNODC's Blue Heart Campaign, governments, but also the private sector and concerned citizens, can get involved in helping victims become survivors.
Tackling human trafficking brings us closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which call for eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls, combatting organized crime and eradicating forced labour, abuse, exploitation and violence against children. Fighting this global scourge means building a society that leaves no-one behind.
On World Day against Trafficking in Persons, let us call upon our governments to step up responses and give victims the support and justice they deserve.
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For further information please contact:
Speechwriter and Spokesperson, UNODC
Phone: (+43 1) 26060-4990
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-4990