(This page may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)
Human trafficking is the trade of humans most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labour or commercial sexual exploitation for the traffickers or others.
This may encompass providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage or extraction of organs or tissues including for surrogacy and ova removal.
Human trafficking can occur within a country or tans-nationally.
Human trafficking is a crime against the person because of the violation of the victim’s rights of movement through coercion and because of their commercial exploitation.
Human trafficking is the trade in people and does not necessarily involve the movement of the person from one place to another.
Human trafficking is through to be one of the fastest-growing activities of trans-national criminal organizations.
Human trafficking is condemned as a violation of human rights by international conventions.
In addition, human trafficking is subject to a directive in the European Union.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has further assisted many non-governmental organizations in their fight against human trafficking.
The 2006 armed conflict in Lebanon, which saw 300,000 domestic workers from Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and the Philippines jobless and targets of traffickers, led to an emergency information campaign with NGO Caritas Migrant to raise human-trafficking awareness.
Additionally, an April 2006 report; Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns, helped to identify 127 countries of origin, 98 transit countries and 137 destination countries for human trafficking.
Till date, it is the second most frequently downloaded UNODC report.
Continuing into 2007, UNODC supported initiatives like the Community Vigilance project along the border between India and Nepal, as well as provided subsidy for NGO trafficking prevention campaigns in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.
Public service announcements have also proved useful for organizations combating human trafficking.
In addition to many other endeavors, UNODC works to broadcast these announcements on local television and radio stations across the world. By providing regular access to information regarding human-trafficking, individuals are educated how to protect themselves and their families from being exploited.
The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) was conceived to promote the global fight on human trafficking, on the basis of international agreements reached at the UN.
UN.GIFT was launched in March 2007 by UNODC with a grant made on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. It is managed in cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO); the International Organization for Migration (IOM); the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF); the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Within UN.GIFT, UNODC launched a research exercise to gather primary data on national responses to trafficking in persons worldwide.
This exercise resulted in the publication of the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons in February 2009.
The report gathers official information for 155 countries and territories in the areas of legal and institutional framework, criminal justice response and victim assistance services.
UN.GIFT works with all stakeholders — governments, business, academia, civil society and the media — to support each other's work, create new partnerships, and develop effective tools to fight human trafficking.
The Global Initiative is based on a simple principle: human trafficking is a crime of such magnitude and atrocity that it cannot be dealt with successfully by any government alone.
This global problem requires a global, multi-stakeholder strategy that builds on national efforts throughout the world.
To pave the way for this strategy, stakeholders must coordinate efforts already underway, increase knowledge and awareness, provide technical assistance, promote effective rights-based responses, build capacity of state and non-state stakeholders, foster partnerships for joint action, and above all, ensure that everybody takes responsibility for this fight.
By encouraging and facilitating cooperation and coordination, UN.GIFT aims to create synergies among the anti-trafficking activities of UN agencies, international organizations and other stakeholders to develop the most efficient and cost-effective tools and good practices.
UN.GIFT aims to mobilize state and non-state actors to eradicate human trafficking by reducing both the vulnerability of potential victims and the demand for exploitation in all its forms, ensuring adequate protection and support to those who fall victim, and supporting the efficient prosecution of the criminals involved, while respecting the fundamental human rights of all persons.
In carrying out its mission, UN.GIFT will increase the knowledge and awareness on human trafficking, promote effective rights-based responses, build capacity of state and non-state actors, and foster partnerships for joint action against human trafficking.
For more information view the UN.GIFT Progress Report 2009.
UNODC efforts to motivate action launched the Blue Heart Campaign Against Human Trafficking on March 6, 2009, which Mexico launched its own national version of in April 2010.
The campaign encourages people to show solidarity with human trafficking victims by wearing the blue heart, similar to how wearing the red ribbon promotes transnational HIV/AIDS awareness.
On November 4, 2010, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons to provide humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of human trafficking with the aim of increasing the number of those rescued and supported, and broadening the extent of assistance they receive.
In December 2012, UNODC published the new edition of the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons.
The Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2012 has revealed that 27 per cent of all victims of human trafficking officially detected globally between 2007 and 2010 are children, up 7 per cent from the period 2003 to 2006.
The Global Report recorded victims of 136 different nationalities detected in 118 countries between 2007 and 2010, during which period, 460 different flows were identified. Around half of all trafficking took place within the same region with 27 per cent occurring within national borders.
One exception is the Middle East, where most detected victims are East and South Asians. Trafficking victims from East Asia have been detected in more than 60 countries, making them the most geographically dispersed group around the world.
There are significant regional differences in the detected forms of exploitation. Countries in Africa and in Asia generally intercept more cases of trafficking for forced labour, while sexual exploitation is somewhat more frequently found in Europe and in the Americas.
Additionally, trafficking for organ removal was detected in 16 countries around the world.The Report raises concerns about low conviction rates – 16 per cent of reporting countries did not record a single conviction for trafficking in persons between 2007 and 2010.
As of November 2015, 169 countries have ratified the United Nations Trafficking in Persons Protocol, of which UNODC is the guardian.
Significant progress has been made in terms of legislation: as of 2012, 83 per cent of countries had a law criminalizing trafficking in persons in accordance with the Protocol.
Ajape Yusuf is currently a student of Mass Communication at Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State.