30 July: UNODC celebrates World Day against Trafficking in Persons  

 

Human trafficking is the criminal exploitation of women, men and children for a variety of purposes, including forced labor and sexual exploitation. All states are affected by trafficking in persons, as country of origin, transit or destination of victims. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), about 72% of the victims are women and girls. Traffickers generally prey on vulnerable people, including those living in poverty, in conflict-affected countries, and victims of discrimination. Armed conflict, displacement, climate change, natural disasters and poverty exacerbate the vulnerability and despair that allow trafficking to flourish.  

West and Central Africa countries are not immune to this phenomenon. That is why on the occasion of 30 July, World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the UNODC regional office based in Dakar organized, in partnership with the National Unit for Combating Human Trafficking of Senegal, the NGOs DIADEM and France Terre D'Asile as well as the municipalities of Pikine-Nord, Diameguene, Sicap Mbao, Médina and Gueule Tapée Fass Colobane, a community-based human trafficking awareness forum. This day is part of the Blue Heart Campaign, an international initiative to raise public awareness of the phenomenon of trafficking in persons. 

This event took place at the Théâtre de verdure in Pikine Nord and brought together more than 400 participants, mainly women and young people from the various communities involved. Following the presentations made by stakeholders on the issue of trafficking in Senegal, the general public has gained a better understanding of the dangers of trafficking in persons, including exploitation for domestic work, sexual exploitation and forced begging.

       
Children from the commune of North Pikine during the forum
     UNODC ROSEN Trafficking in Persons Team

In other West African countries, 30 July was also celebrated. In Guinea-Bissau, for example, UNODC, in collaboration with schools and NGOs, carried out activities to raise awareness among children through fun activities such as face painting, singing and drawing. 

 

 

      

Celebration of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons in Guinea Bissau 

As part of the fight against human trafficking, UNODC stands with the State of Senegal to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 8, 10 and 16 for which it is committed.

Targets 8.7 to "take immediate and effective action to eliminate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking, prohibit and eliminate the worst forms of child labor, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers and, by 2025, ending child labor in all its forms" and 16.2 "end the abuse, exploitation and trafficking, and all forms of violence and torture against children." are particularly taken into account to promote a peaceful and inclusive society for the sustainable development of Senegal.

For example, the celebration of World Day Against Human Trafficking complements other activities already in place under the Regional Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling  of Migrants UNODC (2015 - 2020) and more broadly under the UNODC West Africa Regional Programme (2016 - 2020).

For more information :

UN Senegal: Webstory on human trafficking in Senegal (in french)

Video of Ms. Priya Gajraj, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Senegal on the occasion of the World Day to Fight Human Trafficking (in french)

Regional Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants

United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and additional protocols