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UN Report Says Sex Trafficking a Big Concern

February 16, 2009 · 

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The Straitstimes, Feb, 16, 2009

The Global Report on Trafficking in Persons said that 79 per cent of human trafficking consists of sexual exploitation of mostly women and girls. -- PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

The Global Report on Trafficking in Persons said that 79 per cent of human trafficking consists of sexual exploitation of mostly women and girls. -- PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

UNITED NATIONS – A NEW report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime said on Monday that sexual exploitation and forced labour are the most common forms of human trafficking around the globe.

According to CNN.com, the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons is based on information from 155 countries. The report said that 79 per cent of human trafficking consists of sexual exploitation and the victims are mostly women and girls.

Woman are also more likely to be involved in trafficking; in almost one third of the countries examined, women were responsible for most of the trafficking.

Women in Central Asia and Eastern Europe make up more than 60 per cent of individuals convicted of trafficking.

“In these regions, women trafficking women is the norm,” said Antonio Maria Costa, the head of U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. “It is shocking that former victims become traffickers. We need to understand the psychological, financial and coercive reasons why women recruit other women into slavery.”

Forced labour is the second most prevelant form of human trafficking according to the UN report. ‘Slavery’ makes up about 18 per cent of the total, however the report stated that this could be underreported.

“How many hundreds of thousands of victims are slaving away in sweat shops, fields, mines, factories, or trapped in domestic servitude?” Costa said.

“Their numbers will surely swell as the economic crisis deepens the pool of potential victims and increases demand for cheap goods and services.”

One in five victims of human trafficking were children, irrespective of the type of trafficking involved.

“Children’s nimble fingers are exploited to untangle fishing nets, sew luxury goods or pick cocoa,” the report said.

“Their innocence is abused for begging, or exploited for sex as prostitutes, pedophilia or child pornography. Others are sold as child brides or camel jockeys.”

Countries said to be involved in human trafficking included Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, China and India. Also blacklisted by the report were Algeria, Cuba, Fiji, Iran, Myanmar, Moldova, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Sudan and Syria.

Since 2003 the UN has had a Protocol Against Trafficking in Persons.

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