Human Trafficking at the Crossroads

United Nations General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto

Human trafficking has no place in the 21st century, the General Assembly President said today, calling for commitment and change exceeding political will to eradicate the scourge.

“The industry of trafficking in humans is the third most profitable crime worldwide, after drugs and arms dealing”, Miguel D’Escoto said at the end of a two-day conference in Manama, Bahrain.

“Although the General Assembly has pledged its commitment to fighting this crime in several important resolutions, change — real, credible and sustained change — takes more than simple political will,” he said.

It is time to tap into the reserves of moral courage that lay within each of us as individuals and of all of us as nations to carry out the changes needed to ensure freedom for all men and women.

Father D’Escoto called for stepped up efforts to implement last December’s Assembly resolution demanding enhanced coordination in combating trafficking and protecting its victims, noting that two out of every five countries have yet to convict a single offender. He fears that the deepening economic crisis will exacerbate  the problem by increasing  both the supply of vulnerable potential victims and the demand for cheap labor.

  • 2 million people become enslaved annually
  • 70% of these are women and girls
  • 80% of trafficking comprises sexual exploitation
  • Only one victim out of every 100 trafficking cases is rescued
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