The first World Day Against Trafficking in Persons took place Wednesday in an effort by the United Nations to bring attention to the continuing need for international support to help trafficking victims and end impunity for perpetrators.

Millions of people are still trafficked every year, sold to work in brothels, fields, and sweatshops. Although men, women, and children are trafficked globally, human trafficking, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, affects women and girls more than any other group in the world, and a majority of all people trafficked – 79 percent  - are sexually exploited.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “This first World Day against Trafficking in Persons is a call to action to end this crime and give hope to the victims, who often live unrecognized among us.”

The World Day against Trafficking in Persons will be held every year on July 30. The resolution to create the World Day was adopted by the UN in 2013. The resolution stated the day is necessary to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.”

The Twitter hashtag #IGiveHope was used in conjunction with the World Day against Trafficking in Persons to show solidarity with the millions of people who suffer as a direct result of the human-trafficking crisis.

Human trafficking is considered a form of modern-day slavery. It is ranked as the third greatest revenue source of organized crime after narcotics and arms, according to the UN. The people who are trafficked tend to be those who are already victims of war, poverty, discrimination and/or violence. The most common forms of trafficking are: labor trafficking, which includes child labor, child soldiering and working in sweatshops; sex trafficking, which includes child sex tourism and “mail order brides;” and domestic servitude.

Media Resources: UN News Centre 7/30/14; United Nations; UN Office on Drugs and Crime; Feminist Majority Foundation

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