Today is World Day Against Trafficking.
Implemented officially by the U.N. General Assembly at the end of 2013, http://www.un.org/en/events/humantrafficking/ it was first marked on 20th July 2014.
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons strives to open up the conversation on the human rights violation that is human trafficking. Human trafficking forces men, women and children into labor or sexual exploitation. It can be found worldwide, just about every country in the world is involved, either as a place of origin, transportation or destination for victims. Especially vulnerable are migrants that have been displaced from their home country due to persecution, famine or war.
This issue of human trafficking erupted into the public conscience at the start of the twenty-first century, nevertheless, it is not a new phenomenon, in fact, it has been a global concern since the mid-nineteenth century. Human trafficking is modern day slavery, however, despite freedom from slavery being defined in numerous international conventions and legal systems of many countries, including The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, UN Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime and its Protocols 2000, and Slavery Convention 1926, millions of people are still subjected to slavery in many forms today.
Across Europe organised crime groups are trafficking child refugees into prostitution, exploitation and forced labour.The International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labour globally. This estimate also includes victims of human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation. While it is not known how many of these victims were trafficked, the estimate implies that currently, there are millions of trafficking in persons victims in the world. This modern day slavery needs to stop, now.
The UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2016 states that “Conflicts create favourable conditions for trafficking in persons, but not only by generating a mass of vulnerable people escaping violence. Armed groups engage in trafficking in the territories in which they operate, and they have recruited thousands of children for the purpose of using them as combatants in various past and current conflicts. While women and girls tend to be trafficked for marriages and sexual slavery, men and boys are typically exploited in forced labour in the mining sector, as porters, soldiers and slaves”.
Criminal gangs take advantage of the migration crisis, forcing more people into different forms of slavery. At the United Nations in New York, a Declaration on Refugees and Migrants was agreed to by all 193 UN Member States in September 2016. The New York Declaration is a political document setting forth the states’ commitments to launch a process of intergovernmental negotiations leading to the adoption of two global compacts, one for refugees and the other, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Of the nineteen commitments adopted by countries in the Declaration, three are dedicated to concrete action against the crimes of human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
You can read the UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2016 here
This is the day also on which the church remembers campaigners against slavery such as William Wilberforce and Olaudah Equiano. In their memory we need to continue the fight.
Trafficking in persons is one of the most reprehensible crimes against humanity. It is a violation of basic human rights, that involves the manipulation and exploitation of individuals, often leading to violence, intimidation and even death. It is targeted widely at the vulnerable sections of society, especially women and children, but also involves adult male victims.
Theresa May said she wants Britain to be at the forefront of the fight to stamp out modern day slavery and human trafficking.We can help lead this fight now by making safe and legal routes to protection for lone child refugees a reality, and help bring an end to this gross misuse of human life.
Please sign the following petition to open safe and legal routes to sanctuary for these children