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Monitoring human trafficking

May 14, 2009

UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s Global Report on Trafficking in Persons assesses the different forms of human trafficking and the global fight to end the practice. It explains the growth of modern slave markets and exposes ineffectiveness of governments in implementing legislations for curbing the crime across borders.

Global Report on Trafficking in Persons

Publisher: UNODC, February 2009

The report offers the first global assessment of the scope of human trafficking and what is being done to fight it across continents.


In 2007, UN Office on drugs and Crime (UNODC) conducted, in the framework of the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT), a study on the state of the world’s response to the crime of human trafficking.

This report offers an unprecedented view of the available information on the state of the world’s response to human trafficking, including near-comprehensive data on national legislative and enforcement activity.

It includes an overview of trafficking patterns, legal steps taken in response and country-specific information on reported cases of trafficking in persons, victims, and prosecutions.

According to the report the most common forms of human trafficking are:

  • Sexual exploitation (predominantly of girls and women)
  • Forced labour
  • Trafficking of children’s

A very disturbing revelation of the report is the role played by women in trafficking. Women are found to be involved in human trafficking, not only as victims but also as traffickers. Female offenders play a more prominent role in present-day slavery than in most other forms of crime.

The report also highlights cases of long- distance trafficking. Europe is the destination for victims from the widest range of origins, while victims from Asia are trafficked to the widest range of destinations.

The existence of slave markets has been seen as a modern day phenomenon. The report gives an insight on the different forces at play in the slave trade and it exposes the ineffectiveness of governments in implementing legislations for curbing human trafficking across borders.

The United Nations Protocol against Trafficking in Persons - the foremost international agreement in this area - entered into force in 2003.

The Report shows that in the past few years the number of Member States seriously implementing the Protocol has more than doubled (from 54 to 125 out of the 155 States covered).

However, there are still many countries that lack the necessary legal instruments or political will.

Source : UNODC
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