News

New Agreement to Fight Human Trafficking

A group of protesters stands outside the South African Parliament on September 21, 2011 in Cape Town, demonstrating against human trafficking and calling for the adoption of the South African Prevention and Combating in Trafficking in Persons (TIP) bill.
A group of protesters stands outside the South African Parliament on September 21, 2011 in Cape Town, demonstrating against human trafficking and calling for the adoption of the South African Prevention and Combating in Trafficking in Persons (TIP) bill.
Joe DeCapua

It’s estimated tens of millions of people may be the victims of modern-day human trafficking. On Tuesday, the International Organization for Migration and the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime pledged closer cooperation to tackle the problem.

The two agencies have signed an agreement in Vienna to ensure national borders are better managed in what they call an” integrated, modern and humane way.”

“We can quote several sources, but there is no concrete and accurate information. It is believed that there are between 12 and 27 million victims of trafficking. This is really something due to the fact that there are no worldwide mechanisms in place to detect appropriately victims of trafficking,” said Laurence Hart is the head of the migrant assistance division of the International Organization for Migration.

Big business

The International Labor Organization estimates human trafficking and migrant smuggling is a $32 billion a year industry.

“The idea of a trafficked person used to be basically a stereotype of a woman that was brought into prostitution. Now the profile of a trafficked person is becoming more and more expanded because nowadays we have an increasing number of men, who are trafficked for labor purposes,” he said.

For example, many trafficked men from Asia find themselves in the fishing sector in Africa. Many African women have been trafficked to Asia.

Men, women and children may be abducted or lured into trafficking with the promise of a better life.

Hart said, “Often times what happens is that the person, to have specific work, a specific job, has to pay an intermediary. And the intermediary is asking for some money for that and the person does not necessarily have that money. So he says, ‘I will pay you back.’ Then that becomes a bond because that debt (is) never paid back or because that debt seems to be never-ending.”

Prior to the new agreement, the IOM and the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime already worked closely in many parts of Africa, as well as Colombia in South America.

“Basically, our cooperation with UNODC is related to capacity building. So, how to strengthen existing referral mechanisms, shelters and training of, for example, the judiciary, the law enforcement and the civil society which are involved in the counter trafficking,” he said.

IOM also offers direct assistance to trafficking victims to help them return home.

Consumer goods from forced labor?

Hart said trafficking victims may be forced to manufacture consumer goods. But the companies they work for are often not aware of this.

“We’re finding increasingly a number of companies who are asking us how can we make better traceability in our supply chain and make sure that what we sell, what we produce, is not the result in any way of people who are victims of trafficking,” he said.

The new agreement also calls for greater response to the problem at the local, regional and international levels. It also aims to increase cooperation with other agencies, including the Global Migration Group and the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs