World Day Against Trafficking In Persons: UN, Pope Francis, US ICE Call For End To Scourge

by Kim Boateng Posted on July 30th, 2017

The World Day against Trafficking in Persons, 30 July, was established by the UN General Assembly in 2013 to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights. On the 2017 World Day against Trafficking in Persons, 30 July, the United Nations calls on people all over the globe to “ACT NOW” to help and protect trafficking victims. This year’s  theme  “Let’s act now to protect and assist trafficking victims” campaign raises awareness about human trafficking and encourages people to show solidarity with victims of this crime. Every year, millions of children, women and men fall into the hands of traffickers, lured by fake promises and deceit.

Human trafficking is the acquisition of people by force, fraud or deception to exploit them, including for sax and forced labour. Smuggling of migrants is considered part of human trafficking. Victims of trafficking have been targeted for saxual exploitation and parnography, organ removal, forced begging, forced criminality and other crimes.

Human trafficking has become a global multi-billion-dollar enterprise, affecting nearly every country in the world.People are coerced into saxual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude, forced begging and stealing, and even compelled to “sell” skin and organs.

Traffickers profit from the forced labor and commercial sax of their victims through the use of physical and saxual abuse, threats of harm and deportation, false promises, economic and psychological manipulation, and cruelty.

Human trafficking victims have been found in communities nationwide in the agriculture, hospitality, restaurant, domestic work and other industries, as well as in prostitution that is facilitated online, on the street, or in businesses fronting for prostitution such as massage parlors. Overseas forced labor can be used to produce the consumer goods that are in our homes and workplaces.

Criminal groups feed off the instability created by conflicts, and as links between wars, trafficking and migrant smuggling become more widely known, the United Nations is calling on the international community to act now to help and protect trafficking victims and to end this crime forever.

“Conflict is a breeding ground for criminal activity,” said Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). “People forced from their homes are falling prey to human traffickers as they try desperately to escape the violence.”

In Syria, for example, women and children there were less likely to be trafficked before 2011, according to the latest UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons.

“Since the start of the Syrian situation, however, an increasing number of countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East have detected trafficking victims from this country,” Mr. Fedotov said.

“As evidence grows of conflict’s ability to nourish crime, the international community is increasingly recognizing the need to confront people’s vulnerability to trafficking during conflicts,” Mr. Fedotov said, recalling that in 2016, UN Security Council passed its first-ever resolution resolution on this issue, and last year’s New York Declaration calls for the need to vigorously combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling, as well as provide support and assistance under the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

His comments come on the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, which is being held this year under the theme of “Let’s act now to protect and assist trafficking victims.”

In line with this year’s theme, the UN is promoting the Trust Fund for trafficking victims, as well as the Blue Heart Campaign, which is being adopted across the world.

“Resources, well-supported advocacy, cooperation under international law, and action on the ground are the starting points for tackling this dehumanizing crime that shames everyone,” said Mr. Fedotov.

The Trust Fund facilitates effective, on-the-ground assistance and protection to victims of trafficking, through grants to specialized NGOs. Victims coming from areas of armed conflict and those identified among large refugee and migration flows are being prioritized.

Children among main targets of human traffickers

Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims, UNODC has said.

Children make up almost one-third of all human trafficking victims worldwide, according to the UN agency’s latest report on trafficking. In addition, women and girls comprise 71 per cent of human trafficking victims.

Two UN human rights experts are also taking the opportunity provided by the World Day to warn that current systems designed to protect migrant children are failing, leaving many at risk of trafficking, sale and other forms of exploitation.

The UN International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labour globally. This estimate also includes victims of human trafficking for labour and saxual exploitation.

Human Trafficking A form Of Modern Slavery: Pope Francis

Pope Francis has called on the world to show a greater commitment to fighting human trafficking, which he called “a form of modern slavery.”

The pope made the appeal during his traditional Sunday prayer on the U.N.’s world day against trafficking.

Francis said “every year, thousands of men, women and children are innocent victims of labor exploitation, and sax and organ trafficking.” He added that it has become something considered normal: “This is ugly. It is cruel. It is criminal.”

He called on the world to renew its commitment to battling “this abhorrent plague, a form of modern slavery,” and to pray that traffickers “change their hearts.”

The International Labor Organization estimates 21 million people are victims globally of forced labor, including victims of human trafficking for labor and saxual exploitation.

HELP ICE uncover, dismantle and disrupt human trafficking

Every day, HSI agents around the globe work to uncover, dismantle and disrupt human trafficking.  They come face to face with the worst of humanity – traffickers profiting off the forced labor and commercial sax of their victims through the use of physical and saxual abuse, threats of harm and deportation, false promises, economic and psychological manipulation, and cruelty.

Human trafficking victims have been found in communities nationwide in the agriculture, hospitality, restaurant, domestic work and other industries, as well as in prostitution that is facilitated online, on the street, or in businesses fronting for prostitution such as massage parlors.  Overseas forced labor can be used to produce the consumer goods that are in our homes and workplaces.  These victims are men, women and children of all ages and can include U.S. citizens and foreign nationals.  Many of them thought they had found a good paying job or a better life, only to have their hopes dashed and work compelled.

In the last fiscal year, HSI initiated 1,034 investigations with a nexus to human trafficking and recorded 1,437 arrests, 751 indictments, and 587 convictions; 384 victims were identified and assisted.  ICE continues to make human trafficking cases a top investigative priority, bringing traffickers to justice and connecting victims to services to help them restore their lives.
If you notice suspicious activity in your community, call ICE’s Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or report tips online.

Author

Kim Boateng

Kim Boateng

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