This article was recently on CNN.com about human trafficking and the UN’s ‘Global Report on Trafficking in Persons’. The article isn’t very long, but I’ll comment on some of the key points that struck me.
According to a new UN report sexual exploitation and forced labour are the two most prevalent forms of human trafficking. The sex trade accounts for 79 per cent of all human trafficking and it is mainly women and girls that are the victims of this. Forced labour, which is essentially slavery, accounts for about 18 per cent of trafficking flows and 1 in 5 of the trafficked persons are children.
I was really shocked to learn that it is most common for women to traffick other women in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. This has made me view human trafficking quite differently. Often, these traffickers were once victims themselves. This creates an endemic tradegy and vicious cycle.
In regard to forced labour the trafficked victims often end up working in sweatshops, fields, mines, factories and domestic homes. It is predicted that the number of persons trafficked for forced labour will increase because of the global financial crisis and the growing demand to keep goods cheap. This is calls for us to be more vigilant as consumers especially in this financial crisis. We should question where our goods are being produced and who is producing them.
However, there is room to hope too, because the UN report states that the number of countries that have started to ‘seriously implement’ the UN Protocol Against Trafficking in Person (2003) has doubled. The article stressed that there are many strong international agreements and protocols already in place, it calls on governments to enforce the international laws that they have already agreed to. So, on an international level we already have the framework that will help us to combat the autrocities of human trafficking. It is important to realise that national governments need to put in place the right legal frameworks and institutions as well as have the political will to combat human trafficking.
Follow this link to the article: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/02/16/un.trafficking/index.html
To read the newly published UN Report on Global Trafficking in Persons click here.