24 Jan. (EUROPA PRESS) –
Experts from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have warned on Tuesday that the fight against human trafficking is suffering a stagnation as sentences for these crimes are reduced worldwide.
In its ‘Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2022’, UNODC has lamented a decline in the number of “identified” victims, especially given the increase in vulnerabilities and exploitation. Thus, he has pointed to a clear decrease in convictions between 2017 and 2020 and has indicated that in this period of time they have gone from 8,300 to about 2,300 worldwide.
A total of 47,000 victims were registered throughout 2020, of which 39 percent were forced to work or sexually exploited. In addition, 10 percent were forced to commit crimes.
Human trafficking affects a greater proportion of women and girls, although the number of men and boys has increased in recent years. The first year of the pandemic, the number of victims decreased by 11 percent, to an average of one person per 100,000 inhabitants. According to UNODC data, this was mainly due to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus, but also to the decrease in police and judicial work.
However, the executive director of the office, Ghada Waly, has lamented that this has caused increased vulnerabilities and reduced the ability to “rescue victims and bring criminals to justice.” “We cannot allow crises to foster exploitation. We need support, especially from developed countries, to respond to these threats and to identify and protect the victims,” she added.
In this sense, the report highlights that many victims end up in the hands of human trafficking networks due to the consequences of climate change. In addition, I warn that “war and human trafficking go hand in hand.”
Finally, it has indicated that between 2014 and 2015 the number of Ukrainian victims was around 5 percent, a risk now much higher due to the Russian invasion of the territory, which has forced millions of people to leave the country.