On World Day, UN urges action to combat human trafficking, give victims ‘hope and justice’

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged every country to join the fight against human trafficking as United Nations agencies and their partners vowed to work together to support and protect victims of this transnational crime, while pursuing and prosecuting criminals and their networks.


At the Bandeu checkpoint in Nepal, inspectors and a police constable approach a bus to look for potential victims of child trafficking onboard. Photo: OCHA/Tilak Pokharel.

 “The exploitation of human beings through trafficking is one of the gravest violations of human dignity that exist” today, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said and appealed for a “global anti-trafficking agenda” on in a joint video message by the Inter-Agency Coordination Group Against Trafficking in Persons to mark the World Day against Trafficking in Persons.

 In 2013, the UN General Assembly designated July 30 as the World Day to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.”

 In his message on the Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon flagged the need to crackdown on criminal trafficking networks that thrive in countries where the rule of law is weak and international cooperation is difficult.

 “I call on all countries to fight money laundering and sign and ratify the UN Conventions against corruption and transnational organized crime, including the latter’s human trafficking protocol,” Mr. Ban said.

 Human trafficking ranks as the world’s third most profitable crime after illicit trade in drugs and arms. Forced labour in the private sector alone, including commercial sexual exploitation, generates $150 billion in illegal profits annually.

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