Global TIP report highlights the latest developments in human trafficking

Published 23.12.2016
The biannual Global Report on Trafficking in Persons was released on 21st of December by UNODC. The report highlights trends that have also been visible in HEUNI’s work during the past year: an increasing amount of men trafficked for labour exploitation and new emerging forms of trafficking such as exploitative sham marriages. The report also notes that cross-border trafficking flows have links with current immigration flows. The European immigration situation will also highlight HEUNI’s work in 2017.

The UNODC report notes that, although most detected victims are still women and children, men now make up larger shares of the total number of detected victims than they did a decade ago. In 2014, children comprised 28 per cent of detected victims, and men, 21 per cent. In parallel with the significant increase in the share of men among detected trafficking victims, the share of victims who are trafficked for forced labour has also increased, according to the UNODC. About four in 10 victims detected between 2012 and 2014 were trafficked for forced labour, and out of these victims, 63 per cent were men.

Trafficking for sexual exploitation and for forced labour are the most prominently detected forms, but the report reveals that trafficking victims can also be exploited in many other ways. Victims are trafficked to be used as beggars, for forced or sham marriages, benefit fraud, production of pornography or for organ removal, to mention some of the forms countries have reported. UNODC says that trafficking for various types of marriage has been sporadically reported in the past, but is now emerging as a more prevalent form. In South-East Asia, this often involves forced marriages, or unions without the consent of the woman (or girl). Trafficking for sham marriages mainly takes place in affluent countries. The latter was also revealed in HEUNI’s HESTIA research, which is cited in the UNODC report.

The report notes that although many cases of trafficking in persons do not involve the crossing of international borders – some 42 per cent of the detected victims are trafficked domestically - there are some links between cross-border trafficking and regular migration flows. UNODC’s research detected that certain trafficking flows resemble migration flows, and some sizable international migration flows are also reflected in cross-border trafficking flows. Refugees and immigrants also face many other challenges on their route as well as in the destination countries, including racism, hate speech, violence and radicalization coupled with hindered access to justice. HEUNI will address some of these issues in 2017.

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