UN Agency Reports an Increase in the Number of Children Trafficked Worldwide

In January, the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, “guardian” of the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol, released its fourth Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. This publication provides an overview of patterns and flows of human trafficking at national, regional and global levels based on information submitted by142 Member States of trafficking cases detected from 2014-2016. The Report collected data from 94% of the world’s population.

The main form of trafficking reported by countries was trafficking for sexual exploitation, 59%. Overall, 30% of those reported trafficked worldwide are children; 23% girls and 7% boys, but the Report states that of those children trafficked for sexual exploitation, 72% are girls and 27% are boys.

Although the Global Report shows an increase in the overall number of persons trafficked worldwide, because trafficking in persons is the second most lucrative illicit business in the world, reliable figures for the total number of those trafficked worldwide are hard to know and, doubtless, greater.  It is important, however, that in the eight years that the Report has been published the capacity of countries to gather data has greatly improved and the Report further shows convictions of traffickers are on the rise, greatly enhancing our efforts to combat trafficking.