World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Victims of human trafficking are at the heart of the United Nations’ annual campaign to raise awareness of the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking.

The theme of this year’s campaign is “Reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind”. The UN insists that “leaving people behind” results in :

  • Failing to eliminate the exploitation of trafficking victims
  • Failing to support victim-survivors once they are free from their traffickers
  • Leaving identifiable vulnerable groups in the hands of traffickers

The UN wants to make governments and populations aware of the alarming trends and developments mentioned in the latest global report on human trafficking from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

In parallel, the Blue Heart campaign was launched to mobilize public opinion to end human trafficking.

The United Nations reminds us that :

  • The vast majority of trafficking victims are women (46%) and girls (19%).
  • The two most common forms of exploitation are sexual exploitation at 50% and forced labor at 38%.
  • Most victims of human trafficking are trafficked within the borders of their country.
  • Victims trafficked abroad are usually moved to wealthier countries.

Instituted in 2013 by the United Nations, this World Day is meant to raise awareness of the situation of the victims of trafficking which affects all countries. Organizations such as the Committee for Action against Internal and International Human Trafficking (CATHII) in Quebec organize activities to make known the plight of the victims of human trafficking. They also promote the importance of protecting their rights.

It is good to recall that the problem of human trafficking is the subject of a corporate stand of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM).

Education can play an important role in raising awareness of the impacts of human trafficking among youth. An educational package for 13-18 year olds has been developed in English, Español and French. It also contains a teacher’s guide and video.

Source photo : ONU