World Day against Trafficking in Persons

Human trafficking takes many forms. Human traffickers too often operate with impunity, with their crimes receiving not nearly enough attention.

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Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour and sex. The International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labour globally. This estimate also includes victims of human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation. While it is not known how many of these victims were trafficked, the estimate implies that currently, there are millions of trafficking in persons victims in the world.

Nearly every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, as a point of origin, transit or destination, and victims from at least 127 countries have been reported to have been exploited in 137 States.

Children make up almost a third of all human trafficking victims worldwide, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. Additionally, women and girls comprise 71 per cent of human trafficking victims, the report states.

In Europe, over 140,000 victims are trapped in a situation of violence and degradation for sexual exploitation and up to one in seven sex workers in the region may have been enslaved into prostitution through trafficking.

Globally, one in five victims of human trafficking are children, although in poorer regions and subregions, such as Africa and Greater Mekong, they make up the majority of trafficked persons. Women meanwhile make up two thirds of the world's human trafficking victims.