The World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is observed annually on July 30 and it aims to raise awareness about human trafficking and also to promote and protect the rights of trafficking victims. People are trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced labour, forced begging, forced marriage, for selling children and as child soldiers, as well as for removal of organs. Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights.
Moreover, human trafficking is a global crisis and it affects nearly every country in the world. Every year, thousands of men, women, and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. The 2020 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons draws on data from 148 countries. This day explores issues of particular relevance in the current crisis, including the impact of socio-economic factors, drivers of child trafficking and trafficking for forced labour, and traffickers’ use of the internet.
Hence, the theme for this year’s World Day against Trafficking in Person is ‘Use and abuse of technology’ and it focuses on the role of technology as a tool that can both enable and impede human trafficking. The internet and digital platforms offer traffickers numerous tools to recruit, exploit, and control victims, to organise their transport and accommodation, to advertise victims and reach out to potential clients, to communicate among perpetrators, and to hide criminal proceeds – and all that with greater speed, cost-effectiveness and anonymity.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), remain committed to work together with all stakeholders to protect the rights of victims of trafficking and associated forms of exploitation and abuse. On this Day we urge everyone, especially young people, to recommit in protecting, respecting and fulfilling the human rights of all migrants and refugees. Learning from victims’ experiences and turning their suggestions into concrete actions will lead to a more victim centred and effective approach in combating human trafficking.
We need to create more prevention and awareness-raising activities on the safe use of the internet and social media and how those could help mitigate the risk of people falling victim of trafficking online. It is through such platforms that young people and youth organisations could speak up on behalf of the victims and demand a just, peaceful, and inclusive societies for all. #EndHumanTrafficking