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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora