A third of trafficking victims are children: new global report

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A girl waits with officers from the Haitian Police's Brigade for the Protection of Minors (BPM) in the city of Ouanaminthe, on the north-eastern border with the Dominican Republic. BPM is a UNICEF partner in combating child trafficking. Photo: UNICEF/Marco Dormino

A third of all trafficking victims worldwide are children, rising to two-thirds in some regions.

That's one of the conclusions of the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, launched at UN Headquarters on Wednesday.

The report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime emphasizes the growing link between armed groups and human trafficking.

Matthew Wells reports.

The report shows that trafficking for sexual exploitation together with forced labour, remain the most prominent forms of the illegal trade in human beings across the globe.

While a third of the victims are children, in sub-Saharan Africa, Central America and the Caribbean, the proportion rises to over 60 per cent.

Around 71 per cent of all trafficking victims are women and girls, according to UNODC.

While women and girls tend to be trafficked for marriage and sexual slavery, men and boys tend to be exploited for forced labour, in the mining sector, as soldiers, porters or slaves.

But terrorists and armed groups are also exploiting the vulnerable, in conflict zones and along migration routes.

Here's UNODC chief, Yuri Fedotov.

"Those escaping war and persecution are being victimized by criminals in horrifying new ways. There has been a sharp increase in Syrian trafficking victims. The report details accounts of smuggled migrants being tortured, beaten, and trafficking even for organ removal. Armed groups are also engaging in trafficking in their territories of operation."


Mr Fedotov said one positive factor to note, was that nearly 90 per cent of countries have now criminalized human trafficking, a "huge improvement" from 2003, when only 18 per cent had done so.

Matthew Wells, United Nations

Duration: 1’18″

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