The Quick Facts of Human Trafficking

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Human-Trafficking 3

Human trafficking is a global problem and one of the world’s most shameful crimes, affecting the lives of millions of people around the world and robbing them of their dignity. Traffickers deceive women, men and children from all corners of the world and force them into exploitative situations every day. While the best-known form of human trafficking is for the purpose of sexual exploitation, hundreds of thousands of victims are trafficked for the purposes of forced labour, domestic servitude, child begging or the removal of their organs.

Quick Facts

  • 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.
  • Human trafficking is one of the most lucrative illicit businesses in Europe, with criminal groups making about $3 billion from it per year, making it a considerable criminal business that preys on the world’s most marginalized persons.
  • 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.

The smuggling of migrants is a truly global concern, with a large number of countries affected by it as origin, transit or destination points. Profit-seeking criminals smuggle migrants across borders and between continents.

Assessing the real size of this crime is a complex matter, owing to its underground nature and the difficulty of identifying when irregular migration is being facilitated by smugglers.

florida-coalition-against-human-trafficking-live-show-small-13405Smugglers take advantage of the large number of migrants willing to take risks in search of a better life when they cannot access legal channels of migration.

Smuggled migrants are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Their safety and even their lives are often put at risk: they may suffocate in containers, perish in deserts or drown at sea while being smuggled by profit-seeking criminals who treat them as goods. As the crime is a clandestine one, accurate global figures are difficult to come by.

Nevertheless, it is estimated that two of the principal smuggling routes – leading from East, North and West Africa to Europe and from South America to North America – generate about $6.75 billion a year for criminals.

The global figure is likely to be much higher.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Let’s put them out of business!

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