Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, April 24, 2006

No Country Immune to Scourge of Trafficking

April 24, 2006

The United Nations reported today that no country is immune to human trafficking – virtually every nation is in some way affected by modern day slavery. All around the world people are affected by the horrifying crimes of human trafficking; millions of people are sold for sexual purposes and forced labor, with women and children at the greatest risk. The UN says governments need to do more to counter this global crisis.

“Governments need to get serious about identifying the full extent of the problem so they can get serious about eliminating it,” said UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa, noting that organized criminal gangs behind the trafficking are often multi-national in their membership and operations.

According to the UN:
“The UNODC report identifies 127 countries of origin, 98 transit countries and 137 destination countries. It shows that global efforts to combat trafficking are being hampered by a lack of accurate data, reflecting the unwillingness of some countries to acknowledge that the problem affects them.”
“The fact that this form of slavery still exists in the 21st century shames us all,” UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said in the report.
“He outlined three main challenges for governments:
• to reduce demand, whether for cheap goods manufactured in sweatshops, under-priced commodities produced by bonded people in farms and mines, or services provided by sex slaves;
• to target the criminals who profit from the vulnerability of people trying to escape from poverty, unemployment, hunger and oppression;
• to protect trafficking victims, especially women and children.”
“‘Protecting the victims may sound obvious, but in practice they are all too often treated as criminals who may face charges for violating immigration or anti-prostitution laws. Humane and sensitive treatment is not just a moral imperative - it also increases the likelihood that victims will overcome their understandable fear and testify against their abusers,’ he declared.”
Click here for the full article and for access to the Trafficking In Persons: Global Patterns report.


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