In the last three years, human trafficking has increased by 28 percent, mostly for prostitution. One in three human trafficking victims is a child, most victims are female, and traffickers operate with wide impunity.
One in three human trafficking victims is a child, most victims are female, and traffickers operate with wide impunity, the United Nations said Monday in a report on modern-day slavery.
The 2014 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, produced by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, also found that the proportion of children among victims appeared to be rising. Its first report, in 2012, said the proportion had been closer to one in four.
In some regions, like Africa and the Middle East, the new report said, two out of three victims are children.
The office, based in Vienna, was authorized by the General Assembly in 2010 to collect information and publish a global report on trafficking every two years.
Other indicators in the 2014 report pointed to growth in the buying and selling of humans despite laws passed in an increasing number of countries to toughen penalties.
The report was issued against the backdrop of resilient rage over child trafficking, fueled by the mass abduction of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls seven months ago by Islamist militants, who brazenly declared they had sold the girls as slaves and brides in forced marriages.
The militant group, Boko Haram, showed further contempt for the international anger over the mass abduction by seizing more young women last month.
While sexual exploitation remains the predominant reason for trafficking, victims are also increasingly being used for forced labor, the United Nations report said.
Other statistics in the report showed that girls account for two out of every three child victims, and that together with adult women, account for 70 percent of all trafficking victims.
The report found that trafficking was a problem all over the world, with at least 152 countries of origin and 124 countries of destination. More than 6 in 10 victims have been transported across at least one national border, it said.
“Unfortunately, the report shows there is no place in the world where children, women and men are safe from human trafficking,” Yury Fedotov, the executive director of the Office on Drugs and Crime, said in a statement announcing the report’s release.
He also cautioned that the report was based only on known cases, while trafficking operates in the shadows. “It is very clear that the scale of modern-day slavery is far worse” than the statistics in the report, he said.
Even though traffickers do not conduct their business openly, the report said, they have little fear of prosecution because many countries do not enforce their laws. Forty percent of the world’s countries have recorded few or no convictions.
“The exploitation of one human being by another is the basest crime,” the report begins. “And yet, trafficking in persons remains all too common, with all too few consequences for the perpetrators.”Tweet