By Osward Hiraldo, GFDD Intern
On July 30th, please join us in the fight against human trafficking!
GFDD and the international community stand behind the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. Human trafficking is a global issue that exploits children, women, and men of all regions for many purposes such as forced labor and sex. It is estimated by the International Labour Organization that 21 million people are victims of human trafficking.
In 2013, UN member governments established July 30th as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons.This day was created to raise awareness of the human trafficking situation around the world. It was also created to promote and protect the rights of victims of human trafficking. This day is a follow up to 2010, when the General Assembly of the United Nations developed the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. This plan encourages member governments to work together to fight back human trafficking. It also calls to integrate the fight against human trafficking into the UN’s broader programs to boost development and strengthen security worldwide.
How bad is the current situation? On a global scale, the human trafficking industry is a $150 billion industry. The profits of this illicit industry rival the profits of top corporations around the world. In the United States, human trafficking has surpassed the illegal sale of arms and will surpass the illicit industry of drugs in a couple of years. More developed countries are most affected by human trafficking.
The U.S. State Department released its annual Trafficking in Persons report and it highlighted countries in the Western hemisphere like the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany are lagging behind other countries when it comes to stopping and arresting individuals working in human trafficking.
Who are the victims? The primary victims of human trafficking are women and children but men are also affected. Women and girls tend to be trafficked for marriages and sex labor while men and boys are likely used for forced labor, as porters, and as soldiers. Although women are impacted the most by human trafficking, children are also very vulnerable to this industry. According to the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons released in December 2016 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), almost a third of all human trafficking victims are children. For every child victim, two are girls and one is a boy.
This year the UNODC has chosen ‘act to protect and assist trafficked persons’ as the focus of the World Day. This topic highlights one of the most pressing issues of our time — the large mixed migration movements of refugees and migrants. The theme puts the spotlight on the significant impact of conflict and natural disasters, as well as the resultant, multiple risks of human trafficking that many people face. It addresses the key issue concerning trafficking responses: that most people are never identified as trafficking victims and therefore cannot access most of the assistance or protection provided.
Spread the word about this observance day on social media using #HumanTrafficking #EndHumanTrafficking
For more information please visit the official webpage here.