What is the scale of human trafficking worldwide?
Men, women and children are trafficked within their own countries and across international borders. Trafficking affects every continent and most countries. Every country is affected by human trafficking, whether they are an origin country where people are trafficked from; a transit country where people are trafficked through; or a destination country where people are trafficked to.
Often a country will be all three. Men, women and children are trafficked. Due to the hidden and illegal nature of human trafficking, gathering statistics on the scale of the problem is difficult. The following statistics may represent an underestimation of trafficking, but are the most credible and frequently quoted.
People trafficking is the fastest growing means by which people are enslaved, the fastest growing international crime, and one of the largest sources of income for organised crime. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime
- 1.2 million children are trafficked every year – Estimate by UNICEF
- At least 12.3 million people are victims of forced labour worldwide. Of these 2.4 million are as a result of human trafficking. – A global alliance against forced labor, International Labour Organisation, 2005
- 600,000-800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders each year. Approximately 80 per cent are women and girls. Up to 50% are minors. – US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report 2005
- The majority of trafficked victims arguably come from the poorest countries and poorest strata of the national population. – A global alliance against forced labor, International Labour Organisation, 2005
- Human trafficking in the second largest source of illegal income worldwide exceeded only by drugs trafficking. – (belser 2005)
- There are even reports that some trafficking groups are switching their cargo from drugs to human beings, in a search of high profits at lower risk. – Un office on drugs and crime
- People are trafficked into prostitution, begging, forced labour, military service, domestic service, forced illegal adoption, forced marriage etc.
- Types of recruitment; include abduction, false agreement with parents, sold by parents, runaways, travel with family, orphans sold from street or institutions.