UN: The number of human trafficking victims around the world is on the rise while armed groups and terrorists are trafficking women and children to generate funds and recruit, according to the latest Global Report on ‘Trafficking in Persons’.
The 2018 report, released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), reveals that more victims of human trafficking were reported to the United Nation’s agency in 2016 than at any time over the past 13 years.
It says that increased numbers of victims detected may indicate that more trafficking is taking place or that countries are making use of more efficient tools and procedures to identify trafficking victims.
According to the report, while severity is difficult to measure, an assessment of the evolution of national anti-trafficking responses can shed light on the drivers of these rising numbers.
The exact measures vary between countries, but generally, they include creation or revision of relevant legislation, adoption of national action plans on human trafficking, strengthening of investigative and/or prosecutorial coordination and capacity, classification of trafficking as a grave criminal offence or measures to identify, protect and support victims of trafficking.
For many of the countries that recorded increasing trends, some of the institutional responses can be related to the increase. In particular, most of the increases coincided with or followed shortly after one or more of these anti-trafficking measures were introduced.
An increase in the number of victim detection can also reflect an actual increase in the severity of trafficking in persons, particularly in countries where anti-trafficking institutions and legal framework have been in place for a long time. What emerges from the analysis, however, is that when countries did not enhance their anti-trafficking actions, the number of detected victims tended to decline.