World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2020

What is Human Trafficking?

Trafficking in persons is the act of illegally recruiting, transporting or harbouring human beings for the purpose of exploitation.

It’s slightly different to smuggling of migrants which is when someone facilitates the illegal transportation of a person for financial benefit. Though the two can be interlinked. There is estimated to be between 20 million and 40 million people in modern slavery around the world. The figure is so broad because it is hard to assess the full scope of human trafficking as so many cases go undetected. Estimates suggest that only 0.04% of slavery survivors are ever detected which leave an unimaginable amount of cases that are never uncovered. 

Human trafficking is a huge business for criminals with around $150 billion a year being made by traffickers. Over 70% of detected trafficking victims are women and girls, nearly one third are children. The UN and NGOs around the world work tirelessly to discover, protect and support victims of human trafficking and challenge the impunity of the trafficker.

Human Trafficking and Covid-19

Though it is unclear to what extent the pandemic will have on human trafficking it is already clear that it is making the lives of marginalised people more vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation. Covid-19 has amplified trafficking dangers through a number of different ways, including: loss of jobs, growing poverty, school closures, the rise in online interactions and overwhelmed social and public services making it harder for victims to seek help.

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2020

This year is highlighting and celebrating the amazing work of first responders in the fight against human trafficking. They help identify victims, help rebuild their lives and start them on the path to justice. First responders include:

  • Social Workers
  • Labour inspectors
  • Law enforcement officers + prosecutors
  • Health workers
  • NGO staff

During the Covid-19 pandemic the role of first responders has become even more important. Though with restrictions in place often their work will be more difficult to carry out, it’s so important to recognise the invaluable work they do.

What can you do to help? 

  • Highlight and celebrate the work of first responders in your community, country and around the world.
  • Buy Fairtrade
  • Show the blue heart as a symbol of solidarity and help raise global awareness and drive to end human trafficking
  • Share, like and comment on social messages for the World day
  • Donate to the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking which provid on-the-ground assistance and protection.

#EndHumanTrafficking #HumanTrafficking

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