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UNODC report on human trafficking exposes modern form of slavery

UNODC report on human trafficking exposes modern form of slavery

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Published by N R Dewi Nurmayani
A Global Report on Trafficking in Persons launched today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) provides new information on a crime that shames us all.
Based on data gathered from 155 countries, it offers the first global assessment of the scope of human trafficking and what is being done to fight it. It includes: an overview of trafficking patterns; legal steps taken in response; and country-specific information on reported cases of trafficking in persons, victims, and prosecutions.
At the launch of the Report in New York, the Executive Director of UNODC, Antonio Maria Costa said that "many governments are still in denial. There is even neglect when it comes to either reporting on, or prosecuting cases of human trafficking". He pointed to the fact that while the number of convictions for human trafficking is increasing, two out of every five countries covered by the UNODC Report had not recorded a single conviction.
According to the Report, the most common form of human trafficking (79%) is sexual exploitation. The victims of sexual exploitation are predominantly women and girls. Surprisingly, in 30% of the countries which provided information on the gender of traffickers, women make up the largest proportion of traffickers. In some parts of the world, women trafficking women is the norm.
The second most common form of human trafficking is forced labour (18%), although this may be a misrepresentation because forced labour is less frequently detected and reported than trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Worldwide, almost 20% of all trafficking victims are children. However, in some parts of Africa and the Mekong region, children are the majority (up to 100% in parts of West Africa).
Although trafficking seems to imply people moving across continents, most exploitation takes place close to home. Data show intra-regional and domestic trafficking are the major forms of trafficking in persons.
The United Nations Protocol against Trafficking in Persons - the foremost international agreement in this area - entered into force in 2003. The Report shows that in the past few years the number of Member States seriously implementing the Protocol has more than doubled (from 54 to 125 out of the 155 States covered). However, there are still many countries that lack the necessary legal instruments or political will.
"This Report increases our understanding of modern slave markets, yet it also exposes our ignorance", said Mr. Costa. "We have a big picture, but it is impressionistic and lacks depth. We fear the problem is getting worse, but we can not prove it for lack of data, and many governments are obstructing", he admitted. The head of UNODC therefore called on governments and social scientists to improve information-gathering and -sharing on human trafficking. "If we do not overcome this knowledge crisis we will be fighting the problem blindfolded", he warned.
In a Panel Discussion on "Exposing Denial and Benign Neglect", Mr. Costa called on governments, the private sector, and the public at large to step up the fight against trafficking in persons. "More must be done to reduce the vulnerability of victims, increase the risks to traffickers, and lower demand for the goods and services of modern-day slaves", he said.
To increase public awareness of human trafficking and rally the world to fight it, Mr. Costa appointed Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino as a Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Human Trafficking. "We know that Mira's commitment to the plight of trafficking victims will move people to take action against modern-day slavery", said the Executive Director of UNODC.
A Global Report on Trafficking in Persons launched today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) provides new information on a crime that shames us all.
Based on data gathered from 155 countries, it offers the first global assessment of the scope of human trafficking and what is being done to fight it. It includes: an overview of trafficking patterns; legal steps taken in response; and country-specific information on reported cases of trafficking in persons, victims, and prosecutions.
At the launch of the Report in New York, the Executive Director of UNODC, Antonio Maria Costa said that "many governments are still in denial. There is even neglect when it comes to either reporting on, or prosecuting cases of human trafficking". He pointed to the fact that while the number of convictions for human trafficking is increasing, two out of every five countries covered by the UNODC Report had not recorded a single conviction.
According to the Report, the most common form of human trafficking (79%) is sexual exploitation. The victims of sexual exploitation are predominantly women and girls. Surprisingly, in 30% of the countries which provided information on the gender of traffickers, women make up the largest proportion of traffickers. In some parts of the world, women trafficking women is the norm.
The second most common form of human trafficking is forced labour (18%), although this may be a misrepresentation because forced labour is less frequently detected and reported than trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Worldwide, almost 20% of all trafficking victims are children. However, in some parts of Africa and the Mekong region, children are the majority (up to 100% in parts of West Africa).
Although trafficking seems to imply people moving across continents, most exploitation takes place close to home. Data show intra-regional and domestic trafficking are the major forms of trafficking in persons.
The United Nations Protocol against Trafficking in Persons - the foremost international agreement in this area - entered into force in 2003. The Report shows that in the past few years the number of Member States seriously implementing the Protocol has more than doubled (from 54 to 125 out of the 155 States covered). However, there are still many countries that lack the necessary legal instruments or political will.
"This Report increases our understanding of modern slave markets, yet it also exposes our ignorance", said Mr. Costa. "We have a big picture, but it is impressionistic and lacks depth. We fear the problem is getting worse, but we can not prove it for lack of data, and many governments are obstructing", he admitted. The head of UNODC therefore called on governments and social scientists to improve information-gathering and -sharing on human trafficking. "If we do not overcome this knowledge crisis we will be fighting the problem blindfolded", he warned.
In a Panel Discussion on "Exposing Denial and Benign Neglect", Mr. Costa called on governments, the private sector, and the public at large to step up the fight against trafficking in persons. "More must be done to reduce the vulnerability of victims, increase the risks to traffickers, and lower demand for the goods and services of modern-day slaves", he said.
To increase public awareness of human trafficking and rally the world to fight it, Mr. Costa appointed Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino as a Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Human Trafficking. "We know that Mira's commitment to the plight of trafficking victims will move people to take action against modern-day slavery", said the Executive Director of UNODC.

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Published by: N R Dewi Nurmayani on Feb 15, 2013
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Acknowledgements
This report was produced in the Policy Analysis and Research Branch of UNODC, under the supervision of Sandeep Chawla, Angela Me (Statistics and Surveys Section) and Thibault le Pichon (Studies and Threat Analysis Section).
Field research:
Kendra Spangler and Rogelio Quintero (Data collection and research for Mexico, Central America and theCaribbean); Marina Oliveria and Adriana Maia (Data collection and research for South America); ThiernoGueye and Olatunde Olayemi (Data collection and research for West and Central Africa); Nihal Fahmy andShereen Soliman (Data collection and research for North Africa and the Middle East); Sarah Simons (Data collection and research for East Africa); Carol Allais (Data collection and research for Southern Africa);Hayder Mili and Cheryl Brooks (Data collection and research for Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Afghani-stan); Deepika Naruka and Marie Erickson (Data collection and research for South Asia); Alexia Taveau (Data collection and research for East Asia and the Pacific); and Kauko Aromaa, Anniina Jokinen, Martti Lehti,Elina Ruuskanen, Terhi Viljanen and Minna Viuhko from HEUNI (Data collection and research for Westernand Central Europe, Canada and United States of America).Particular appreciation and gratitude go to the UNODC Field Offices Representatives and staff for the sup-port they provided during the data collection phase.
Research coordination and report preparation:
Fabrizio Sarrica (Lead researcher, data collection coordination, data analysis and global overview), Michael Jandl (Consultant, data analysis and coordination) and Cristiano Borneto (Intern, data entry). Anja Korenblik (Programme and publication management), Shannon Brown (Contractor, language editing),Suzanne Kunnen (design and desktop publishing) and Kristina Kuttnig (design and desktop publishing).The support and inputs of Anna Alvazzi del Frate, Philip Davis, Theodore Leggett, Steven Malby and Wolfgang Rhomberg are also gratefully acknowledged, as well as the contributions from other colleagues inthe UN.GIFT Secretariat at UNODC, the Anti-Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Unit of UNODCand the Organized Crime and Criminal Justice Section of UNODC.UNODC reiterates its appreciation and gratitude to Member States for the reports and the information thatprovided the basis for this publication, as well as to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Inter-national Organization for Migration (IOM) and the many non-governmental organizations around the world which kindly shared their information with UNODC.UNODC would also like to thank UN.GIFT and the United Arab Emirates for the financial support providedfor the preparation and publication of this report.Coverphoto: © UNICEF
 
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This report has been produced without formalediting.The designations employed and the presentationof the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on thepart of the Secretariat of the United Nationsconcerning the legal status of any country, terri-tory, city or area of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers and boundaries.Countries and areas are referred to by the namesthat were in official use at the time the relevantdata were collected.The following abbreviations have been usedin this report:
CIS
Commonwealth of Independent States
CTS
United Nations Surveys of CrimeTrends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems
ECCAS
Economic Community of Central African States
ECOWAS
Economic Community of West African States
FBI
Federal Bureau of Investigation
HEUNI
European Institute for CrimePrevention and Control
ILO
International Labour Organization
Interpol
International Criminal PoliceOrganization
IOM
International Organization forMigration
MENA
Middle East and Nord Africa 
NGO
Non-governmental Organization
OSCE
Organization for Security andCo-operation in Europe
TiP
Trafficking in Persons(Human Trafficking and Trafficking in Human Beings are also used)
UN.GIFT
United Nations Global Initiativeto Fight Human Trafficking 
UAE
United Arab Emirates
UNICEF
United Nations Children's Fund
UNODC
United Nations Office on Drugsand CrimeIn the report the terms children, boys and girlsrefer to people under 18 years old, and the termsadults, men and women refer to persons who are18 years old or above.
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