Human trafficking a $7bn business

2014-10-06 21:22

Vienna - Smugglers rake in €5.6bn every year from human trafficking between Africa and Europe and between Latin and North America, even as thousands continue to die in search of a better life, a new UN estimate showed on Monday.

But global revenues were probably "significantly higher," Yury Fedotov, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime told journalists, calling for closer international co-operation to help quash smuggling networks.

"Terrible tragedies are occurring daily as vulnerable women, children and men, place their trust in criminals to smuggle them across national borders," he said.

Only joint international efforts can help "prevent the smugglers from staying one step ahead of law enforcement," he continued.

The International Organisation for Migration estimates some 40 000 migrants have died since 2000 trying to make their way illegally to a new country, with 3 000 perishing while trying to cross the Mediterranean in 2014 alone.

Last month, as many as 500 migrants drowned in what the IOM called "the worst shipwreck in years," after traffickers reportedly rammed and sank the boat.

  • Patricia Gerber - 2014-10-06 21:52

    The South African government has not implamented the Human Trafficking Bill which was signed into law in July 2013, more than a year ago!!!!

  • Douglas Hollis - 2014-10-07 11:37

    And what the article fails to mention is that the vast majority of people being trafficked are not doing so in search of a better life, but totally against their will, including women, teenage girls (and even boys) who will be sold into forced prostitution (sex slavery, essentially) or forced labour. This is happening right now, in almost every country in the world (from the US to Germany, France and Australia, to Moldovia, Mexico and South Africa). And as the article points out, it's BIG business. There are more slaves in the world today, in our supposedly enlightened age, than at any point in history. (The total number is estimated to be in the order of 21 million, at any point in time.) Most of them would be lured somewhere under false pretenses (say a 'modelling audition' or some 'employment opportunity', only to be abducted, drugged, and smuggled across borders to be subjected to incredible acts of degradation. Most of them never see their loved ones again. They end up dying in captivity, either through trying to escape, overdosing, or committing suicide. It's a tragic indictment of the human race, that we should treat our own worse than animals. And most of us are blissfully unaware that it's even happening, much less the sheer scale of it.

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