Thursday, March 8, 2007

The UN calls for an end to trafficking.

"We celebrate the fact that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Yet, around the world, millions of people are still deprived of their freedom."

-Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro

From Himalayan villages to Eastern European cities, people - especially women and girls - are attracted by the prospect of a well-paid job as a domestic servant, waitress or factory worker. Traffickers recruit victims through fake advertisements, mail-order bride catalogs and casual acquaintances.

Trafficking in human beings is a global phenomenon. Upon arrival at their destination, victims are placed in conditions controlled by traffickers while they are exploited to earn illicit revenues. Many are physically confined, their travel or identity documents are taken away and they or their families are threatened if they do not cooperate. Women and girls forced to work as prostitutes are blackmailed by the threat that traffickers will tell their families. Trafficked children are dependent on their traffickers for food, shelter and other basic necessities. Traffickers also play on victims' fears that authorities in a foreign country will prosecute or deport them if they ask for help.

To help countries combat this problem, the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) coordinates global efforts. To learn more, watch the video below or go here.