New York, July 30, 2021 – Since 2013, the UN designated 30 of July the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, a date to raise awareness on the need to fight human trafficking and its numerous and pernicious effects on victims and societies alike. Human Trafficking is a terrible crime that neglects human beings their very humanity, making them objects to be exploited for pure economic profit, mainly in sexual or labor activities. As the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol defines it, human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Besides, it is a crime where transnational criminal networks play a dominant role.
In the field, several Scalabrinian entities work in different countries in activities related to the prevention and combat of trafficking in persons, as well as in providing support to victims, in several cases as members of national and multi-stakeholders committees, providing educational courses to workers vulnerable to trafficking and vocational training to young people (prevention) and training programs for human rights defenders and authorities (public policy and assistance to victims), among others.
Also, as a member of the UN NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons, SIMN participates in advocacy activities to push UN Member States’ actions in the prevention and combat against human trafficking, as well as in monitoring their implementation. According to UN data, in 2018, 50,000 human trafficking victims were detected and reported by 148 countries, which implies that the actual number of victims of this crime is much bigger. Unfortunately, due to the travel restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and worsening economic conditions, it is expected that many migrants will decide to flee their countries in more dangerous conditions, increasing the risks to fall into the trafficking networks.
In light of this, SIMN is committed to keep working both in the field and at the multilateral level to prevent, combat, and raise awareness on this cruel and dehumanizing crime and its devastating effects on victims and their families. We salute that the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons in 2021 is dedicated to victims, and we gladly share a link to some of their impressive stories of survival and courage: