Jul 30, 2014

UNPO marks World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

July 30th, 2014 marks the first ever World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, an initiative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Each year, millions of children, women and men from all regions of the world are trafficked from their homes and put to work in unspeakable conditions with little hope of reprieve. On this day of international action against modern-day slavery, UNPO stands resolutely with the UN in condemnation of this despicable crime.

There are more slaves in the world today than at any given point in human history. The practice still exists and has taken on numerous different forms, despite the fact that all countries officially prohibit slavery by law. Slavery is not a relic from the distant past, but an insidious practice that continues into the present day, depriving human beings of their most fundamental rights. Trafficking in human beings, a specific form of modern day slavery, is the third biggest international crime industry – after illegal drugs and arms trafficking – generating up to €25 million annually, and between 20 and 30 million people are involved in slavery practices worldwide, be it forced labour or sexual exploitation. Now more than ever, action is needed to combat human trafficking.

Given that vulnerable groups such as indigenous peoples and minorities are disproportionately the victims of modern slavery, UNPO has a particular interest in engagement in this area. In January 2014, UNPO launched its own international campaign against slavery, iCAS, and recently joined the EU’s Civil Society e-Platform against trafficking in human beings. UNPO has also organised conferences on the issue and continue to work with our members to tackle the scourge of human trafficking as it affects them. UNPO’s steadfast support for UN’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons represents our long-term commitment to stand against this heinous crime.