Last week on July 30, the United Nations brought attention to human trafficking with their annual World Day Against Trafficking In Persons. The International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labor or sexual exploitation. While not all of these victims are trafficked, it is estimated that millions of trafficking in persons victims.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave a statement last Saturday discussing the issues facing migrants and refugees and vulnerability that allows them to be preyed on. “Human traffickers prey on the most desperate and vulnerable. To end this inhumane practice, we must do more to shield migrants and refugees—and particularly young people, women and children—from those who would exploit their yearnings for a better, safer, and more dignified future.” He went on to mention that these would be key issues during the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants held this coming September. For his final words, Ban Ki-moon stated; “I urge everyone to recommit to protect, respect, and fulfill the human rights of all migrants and refugees. Creating and supporting well-governed, safe, and human rights-based migration and asylum procedures will be an important step towards ending the abhorrent practice of profiting from human despair and misery.”
Ban Ki-moon was followed by statements from both the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) Executive Director and the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons. Their statements, as well as the full statement from Ban Ki-moon, can be read here.
Here at DEPDC/GMS, we are working every day to combat these issues. With many of our students coming from migrant backgrounds, we see the issues facing these children everyday. DEPDC hopes that by giving our students an opportunity for education, we can bring them out of a state of vulnerability and they can go on to lead long and happy lives free from trafficking. To help DEPDC/GMS continue our work towards ending human trafficking, please visit our GlobalGiving page and support our projects.