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Human trafficking and modern slavery undercut human rights, dignity, democratic freedoms, and moral principles. It is one of the vilest forms of exploitation known. Global leaders have yet to give this scourge the attention and commitment to action it demands.
There’s a chance to do so this weekend, at the June 28-29 G20 Summit in Osaka. The G20, which at its core is a meeting to discuss key issues in the global economy, cannot ignore this blight that darkens and undermines the safe, fair, and free functioning of the world’s global trade system.
Scale - Suffering - Victims - Trafficking - Slavery
The scale of suffering is unconscionable. Victims of human trafficking and modern slavery number more than 40 million. People are bought, sold, traded; forced to work against their will, sexually exploited, and forced into non-consensual marriages. Human organs are harvested and trafficked.
The trafficking of children for begging, forced criminality or sexual exploitation, including online, is a crime against humanity that must be confronted. Women and girls face unique challenges and vulnerabilities representing over 72 percent of identified trafficked victims.
Occurs - Countries - Migratory - Routes - Refugee
Trafficking occurs within countries, but is especially rampant on migratory routes and in refugee camps. Migrants and refugees easily become trapped in situations of labor or sexual exploitation to pay off smugglers. According to Europol, members of criminal networks facilitate travel of 90 percent of migrants who reach the European Union. In the Gulf States, abuse of worker sponsorship systems is well-documented and an example of how labor migration can lead to exploitative situations.
Multilateral commitment to eradicating the evils of human trafficking and modern slavery has been articulated often and in many places, including in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yet the industry continues to prevail as a low-risk, high gain enterprise that generates an annual profit of over $150 billion. Despite the fact these issues affect society at large,...
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