TODAY is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons and the focus is 'responding to the trafficking of children and young people'.
According to the United Nations, this year's campaign highlights the fact that almost a third of trafficking victims are children, and the theme was chosen to draw attention to the issues faced by trafficked children and to possible action initiatives linked to safeguarding and ensuring justice for child victims.
Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour and sex. The International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labour globally.
Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims. Children make up almost a third of all human trafficking victims worldwide, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. Additionally, women and girls comprise 71 per cent of human trafficking victims, the report states.
In 2010, the General Assembly adopted the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, urging governments worldwide to take coordinated and consistent measures to defeat this scourge.
Locally, a three-day conference on human trafficking hosted by the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons took place last week. It was the first of its kind to be convened in the Caribbean and was held under the theme, 'From Victim to Survivor: The Hard Road to Recovery'. The conference was geared towards raising public awareness about human trafficking and developing partnerships within the region and at the global level to eliminate this heinous crime.
Remember, human trafficking is disguised in many ways. Become informed and alert the police if you suspect that this is taking place.