World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Blog, Resources

By Sara M Battey

On 30 July 2014 the United Nations (UN) declared this day as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, an annual day to raise awareness of human trafficking and the impact on victims. Human trafficking is a complex issue, defined by the United Nations as “the recruitment, transport, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud or deception for the purpose of exploitation” (Palermo Protocol, 2000).

While the term ‘human trafficking’ is internationally used in discourse and legislation, the UK has adopted the ‘modern slavery’ term as enacted in the Modern Slavery Act 2015. ‘Modern slavery’ has been labelled an ‘umbrella term’ which incorporates slavery, human trafficking and exploitation as offences under this legislation. Furthermore, these umbrella terms also include issues of forced labour, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, county lines, criminal exploitation, child labour, child sexual exploitation, forced marriage, organ harvesting, and child soldiers, among others.

The 2023 theme for World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is “reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind”, which aims to raise awareness of disturbing developments and trends identified by the latest UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons and calls on governments, law enforcement, public services, and civil society to assess and enhance their efforts to strengthen prevention, identify and support victims, and end impunity.

The finding from the report include:

Finding 1: Number of detected victims falls for the first time in 20 years as pandemic limits opportunities and potentially pushes trafficking further underground, while constraining law enforcement capacities to target the crime

Finding 2: Trafficking for sexual exploitation less detected during the pandemic

Finding 3: Victims rely on “self-rescue” as anti-trafficking responses fall short

Finding 4: Global slowdown in convictions accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic

Finding 5: Increased impunity in home countries resulting in more victims trafficked to more destinations

Finding 6: War and conflict offer hunting grounds for traffickers

Finding 7: Climate change is multiplying trafficking risks

Finding 8: Boys and men account for a greater share of detected victims as new forms of exploitation emerge

Finding 9: Women and children suffer greater violence at the hands of traffickers

Finding 10: More highly organized traffickers exploit more victims, more violently and for longer periods of time

Finding 11: Women – more likely than men to be traffickers or more likely than men to be convicted?

The Croydon Community Against Human Trafficking (CCAT) is a voluntary coalition that works to raise awareness about human trafficking, oppression and enslavement that exists in our own community. They work with local, regional and national agencies and seek to respect human rights at all times.

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:

Resources used:

UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons

Palermo Protocol, 2000

Modern Slavery Act 2015