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Tearfund celebrates progress made against human trafficking

Tearfund is celebrating the progress the international community has made in the fight against human trafficking, but says further improvement is required to rid the world of this atrocious crime.

Its comments come after the United Nations released its Global Report on Trafficking in Persons this week. The report found that detecting cases of human trafficking is improving, as well as rates of prosecution and conviction. This could either be a sign that countries have strengthened their ability to identify victims, or that the number of actual instances of trafficking has increased, said Yury Fedotov, UNODC’s Executive Director.

Tearfund CEO, Ian McInnes, says he’s quietly optimistic that trafficking is actually finally being taken seriously.

“It looks like the intentional effort to shine a light on this issue has resulted in the spike in cases.”

“I’m encouraged by the report’s finding that nearly every country now has legislation in place criminalizing human trafficking. That’s a big improvement from when the Protocol against Trafficking in Persons came into force 15 years ago.”

However, Mr McInnes says there’s still a long way to go.

“Deceiving and blackmailing women and children into working in brothels, removing people’s organs, keeping men in cages aboard fishing boats and working them on the high seas until they literally drop dead. This is what human trafficking and exploitation looks like in real terms. We must all continue to address this issue until it is well and truly stamped out.”

There are currently 40 million people trapped in modern day slavery - according to the International Labour Organisation. Of those, 25 million are trapped in forced labour exploitation including 4.8 million – roughly the population of New Zealand - in forced commercial sexual exploitation.

Tearfund works through local partners in five countries to combat human trafficking and exploitation through programmes that prevent trafficking, releasing those caught up in it, prosecute offenders, and aid survivors in their rehabilitation.

© Scoop Media

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