Published on July 31st, 2021 | by CCAT0
World Day against Trafficking in Persons
By Sal Fazal
World day against trafficking in persons on 30th July intends to highlight & educate the public on the grave issue of trafficking in persons. To address this issue through the mobilisation of political will and resources, celebrate and reinforce the progress made so far in tackling this serious crime and a grave violation of human rights.
According to the article 3(a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, Trafficking in Persons is defined as:
the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include at a minimum the exploitation of prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of human organs.
Most countries have national human trafficking laws, but still vulnerable people continue to fall victims to trafficking. Every year, innocent men, women and children end up being trafficked in their own countries and abroad. According to the 2020 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in persons, ‘In 2018, for every 10 victims detected globally, about five were adult women and two were girls. About one third of the overall detected victims were children, both girls and boys, while 20 percent were men.’ (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Global Report on Trafficking in Persons (GloTIR), 2020, p. 32)
Victims are trafficked for different purposes. Generally, most women are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Whereas, men are mostly trafficked for forced labour. However, according to data collected in 2018, ‘50 percent of the victims detected were trafficked for sexual exploitation and 38 percent were trafficked for forced labour’.’ (UNODC GloTIR, 2020, p.33) It is interesting to note that ‘almost two-thirds of people convicted of trafficking in persons offences in 2018 were male, although participation of women is higher compared with other crimes.’(GloTIR, 2020, p.12)
On this day, it is also worth celebrating the fact that ever since the implementation of the ‘Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol) in 2003, more traffickers are being convicted every year and more than 90 percent of countries, criminalise trafficking according to the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol.
Yet, to win the fight against trafficking, a lot more needs to be done. There is a need to establish specialized national anti-trafficking agencies with multidisciplinary expertise (GloTIR, 2020, p.19). Such a dedicated agency can effectively prevent trafficking in persons, investigate different forms of this crime and identify and help victims.
The ongoing COVID19 pandemic has resulted in people becoming more vulnerable and at risk to trafficking. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is facing a possible impending economic recession as a result of which there has been a sharp increase in unemployment rates (GloTIR, 2020, p.10). As a consequence of this economic crisis, more people are at risk of being trafficked and becoming a victim of modern-day slavery, particularly from countries experiencing the highest unemployment rates.
In order to focus on the role of survivors of trafficking in establishing effective measures to prevent this crime & support rehabilitation of other victims, this year’s UN theme for the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is “Victims’ Voices Lead the Way” (Theme 2021, n.d.). It is crucial that we should learn from experiences of victims and act on their suggestions to develop a more humane and effective approach in combating human trafficking.
On this day, we all need to reflect and pledge to do more to protect victims of trafficking and prevent vulnerable people from being exploited by criminals.
Opportunities to Get More Involved:
CCAT encourages everyone to take an active part in the campaign against trafficking in persons. The following are few of the opportunities available to get involved:
- Join Croydon Community Against Trafficking as a volunteer to raise awareness to its impact on society
- Donate to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking, which provides front-line assistance and protection to victims of trafficking
- Join the conversation and use the hashtags #EndHumanTrafficking and #HumanTrafficking on social media
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). 2020. Global Report on Trafficking in Persons (GloTIR). Retrieved July 26, 2021 from https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/tip/2021/GLOTiP_2020_15jan_web.pdf.
UN General Assembly. 2000. Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Retrieved July 26, 2021 from https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/ProtocolonTrafficking.pdf.
Theme 2021 – “Victims’ Voices Lead the Way”. (n.d.) UNODC. Retrieved July 26,2021 from https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/endht/index.html.