Sexual Exploitation Still Main Purpose For Trafficking
| IOP Desk - 30 Jul 2019


A Clear Increase in the Number of Children Being Trafficked

UNODC’s multi-stakeholder platform to synergise anti-trafficking efforts and strengthen coordination

By Onkareshwar Pandey

New Delhi/July 30, 2019: Sexual exploitation continues to be the main reported purpose for trafficking, accounting for some 59 per cent. Globally, the number of human trafficking victims is on the rise. According to the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2019, countries are detecting and reporting more victims globally and in some regions, also convicting more traffickers. The report also found a clear increase in the number of children being trafficked, who now account for 30 per cent of all detected victims, with far more girls detected than boys.

In a landmark initiative, governments, law enforcement agencies and civil society organisations from India, Nepal and Sri Lanka joined hands to strengthen victim-centred responses at the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Platform convened by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in New Delhi. The Platform was hosted in partnership with UN Women, and in the collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, on the occasion of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons.

The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Platform is envisaged as a common policy forum for dialogue, discussions, and advocacy to devise and strengthen effective measures to combat andeliminate all forms of trafficking in persons and to protect victims. The Platform seeks to create synergies between partner entities, facilitate exchange of information and good practices, encourage joint responses and identify the immediate priority actions to address the issue.

Calling for collective action, Mr. Sergey Kapinos, Representative, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia said, “Millions of victims, including children and women, fall into the hands of traffickers every year, and are forced into a life of inhuman exploitation, fear and slavery. The need for a platform where stakeholders can freely exchange information and receive support is more important than ever—after all, effectively countering organised crime networks requires equally coordinated and cohesive responses. Let us take this opportunity today to further strengthen partnerships and co-create solutions to protect victims and bring perpetrators to justice.”

UNODC assists the Member States in their struggle to combat illicit drugs and international crime. Over the past three decades, the Regional Office for South Asia has been working with governments and civil society in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, delivering technical assistance on challenges pertaining to regional security, crime prevention, justice and health.

Over the years, South Asian nations have emerged as source, transit and destination countries for trafficking in persons. Several “push” and “pull” factors make people move across borders and even beyond. Those desperate to seek better lives are often “tricked” and “forced” into vulnerable situations leading to trafficking. A bulk of those trafficked between South Asian countries are women and children belonging to the most disadvantaged groups. At the same time, human traffickers are misusing the Internet and new technologies to broaden their reach, using apps and chat rooms to exploit and abuse women and young people.It is hence an imperative to develop inter-state and transnational cooperation mechanisms, which enable law enforcement, civil society, governments and other stakeholders to develop joint responses to address this crime.

Extending support to the platform, Ms. Nishtha Satyam, Deputy Representative, UN Women India asserted, “Indicator 5.2 of SDG 5, focuses on the elimination of ‘all forms of violence against all women and girls in public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.’ The Anti–Trafficking in Persons platform provides a great opportunity for multiple partners to come together to deliberate and draft a comprehensive approach that includes primary prevention, laws and their effective implementation and the provision of services accessible to all victims and survivors.”

In the discussions, participants exchanged insights on the latest trends and patterns of trafficking observed in India and the region, good practices, responses and mechanisms to support victims, and the emerging opportunities for collaboration.Enhanced data collection efforts, the introduction of stronger laws to counter online-enabled exploitation, spearheading awareness campaigns to build resilient communities, and creation of livelihood opportunities were also suggested as vital and priority interventions.

UNODC Regional Office for South Asia assists countries to develop comprehensive and sustainable responses to trafficking in persons. Such responses include prevention, prosecution of perpetrators, protection and assistance of victims.




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