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World Day Against Trafficking in Persons – 30 July 2020 (Carol Infanti)

What is United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons?

30 July is United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons, established to raise awareness of the plight of human trafficking victims and promote and protect their rights.

More than 20 million people living today around the world have been trafficked either for sexual exploitation (22%), forced labour (68%) and other (10%) activities across the world.

Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims. Traffickers the world over continue to target women and girls. Most of the victims detected across the world are females; mainly adult women, but also increasingly girls. The vast majority of the detected victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation are females and 35 per cent of the victims trafficked for forced labour are also females, both women and girls.

It is challenging to know what the real scale of trafficking in persons is. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), “Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2018” found that the increases in the numbers of detected victims have been more pronounced in the Americas and in Asia.

Globally countries are detecting and reporting more victims and are convicting more traffickers. This can be the result of increased capacity to identify victims and/or an increased number of trafficked victims. This has policy implications for all countries to improve their data collection and analysis.

Committed to the Cause – Working on the Frontline to End Human Trafficking

The theme for the 2020 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons focuses on the first responders to human trafficking. These are the people who work in different sectors; identifying, supporting, counselling and seeking justice for victims of trafficking, and challenging the impunity of the traffickers.

What is the scale of modern slavery in the UK?

“Nearly two hundred years after Britain formally abolished slavery, the terrible crime of holding another human being enslaved is still widespread here. Modern slavery is hidden from view even though it is all around us.”– Lord William Hague

Estimates suggest there are more than 100,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK, 10 times the number previously estimated by the Government.

The newly published (13.7.20), report ‘It Still Happens Here’, produced in collaboration by Justice and Care and The Centre for Social Justice claims that the issue of modern slavery is likely to intensify in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and is already costing the taxpayer many billions of pounds.

Modern slavery is often linked to other crimes. Trafficking gangs will use the identities of victims to commit benefit fraud and victims are also controlled with alcohol and drugs and may be forced to beg in the streets, engage in the sale of illicit tobacco or be exploited in brothels or car washes. Children forced into crime can be and in some cases are being treated as criminals by the police rather than victims of forced labour or modern slavery.

How can you can get involved in the United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons?

  • Do you know anyone working to combat modern day slavery or stop trafficking in persons? Does your club have a partnership with an organisation doing this work? Highlight the work that is going on in your club, region, community or organisation;
  • Share, like and comment on the social media messages for the World Day on 30th July;
  • Donate to the United NationsVoluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking, which provides on-the-ground assistance and protection to victims of trafficking.

Use the hashtags #EndHumanTrafficking and #HumanTrafficking on all digital platforms.

You can also support the Justice and Care initiative, ‘Unlock the doors of modern slavery’. Take a picture of yourself outside your front door with a sign that you have made which reads “#UnlockTheDoors”

Post the photo on social media with the hashtag #UnlockTheDoors and tag @justiceandcare They will collect all posts together and deliver a montage to the UK government.

Carol Infanti
APD Prosperity

Read Kim Ann Williamson’s post