Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Human Trafficking & Globalization

From Reuters:

Globalisation has vastly increased human trafficking over the past decade and governments must take urgent action to combat the abuse, United Nations officials and human rights activists said on Tuesday.

On the eve of the first U.N. global forum on human trafficking in Vienna, Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson said it was time end what the U.N. says is a multi-billion dollar market. "It is increasing big, big, big time," Thompson, chairwoman of human rights group the Helen Bamber Foundation. "It's the third largest shadow economy after drugs and arms."

The U.N. says some 2.5 million people are trapped in forced labour, including sexual exploitation, in forced marriages, or are pushed to provide body parts for black market organ trade.

The surge in human trafficking coincides with a revolution in affordable transport and instant communication around the world, said Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). "All of this has facilitated things like trade and services, (yet it has) also facilitated the trafficking of human beings," Costa told a news conference.

A U.N. anti-trafficking protocol took force in 2005, establishing a framework for a crackdown, and now governments must create laws and prosecute perpetrators, he said. "Governments have not done much. But the international agreement puts a burden on the countries," he said.

The organisers will push for a universal ratification of the U.N. protocol, which has been signed by more than 110 states.

There is also a pressing need for better data, as most has come so far from sources like media reports, said Costa.

Most trafficking victims come from nations in the Commonwealth, central and southeastern Europe, West Africa and Southeast Asia, according to a recent UNODC report. Western Europe, North America and Western Asia top the list of destinations for victims of human trafficking.

Adult woman and girls are most at risk of becoming victims and sexual exploitation is the most prevalent abuse, it said.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for bringing this sad problem to my attention. I never thought that the situation is so hard. I hope that it will stop.