Human trafficking is on the rise across the globe, with children accounting for 30 per cent of those being trafficked, shows a study from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The study which examined information from 142 countries showed that most victims of trafficking detected outside their region of origin are from East Asia, followed by sub-Saharan Africa.
The Americas are the regions which saw the largest increase in the numbers of victims detected. The report, however, said that this may be because of improved methods of detecting, recording and reporting data on trafficking – or a real increase in the number of victims.
Trafficking for sexual exploitation is the most prevalent form in European countries. Forced labour is the main factor driving the illicit trade in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.
Women and girls make up most trafficking victims worldwide. While three-quarters of them are trafficked for sexual exploitation, and more than a third are trafficked for forced labour.
Conflict regions see the highest level of trafficking. In several such countries in the Middle East, incidents such as forced marriages are often reported.
“Human trafficking has taken on horrific dimensions as armed groups and terrorists use it to spread fear and gain victims to offer as incentives to recruit new fighters,” said Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC.