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Human trafficking: facts and figures

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Human trafficking: facts and figures


Human Trafficking has many different faces. Sometimes referred to as ‘modern-day slavery’, essentially it can mean recruiting, transporting or harbouring people and exploiting them by force or deceit.
Being an illicit, clandestine trade, accurate statistics are notoriously difficult to come by. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, has published these figures relating to its research.
  – Sexual exploitation, usually forcing a person into prostitution, is the most widespread form of human trafficking, making up 79 percent of all recorded human trafficking cases. (source: UNODC, 2009)
  – Forced labour is the second most recorded form of human trafficking, accounting for 18 percent of recorded cases. (UNODC, 2009)
  – The International Labour Organisation estimates there are 2.4 million people throughout the world who are lured into forced labour. (ILO, 2005)
  – 22,000 victims were detected worldwide in 2006. (UNODC, 2006) 
  – At any given time more than 140,000 victims are trapped in human trafficking in Europe, with no sign of that figure decreasing. (UNODC, 2010)
  – Up to one out of every seven sex workers in Europe is thought to be enslaved into prostitution through trafficking. (UNODC, 2010)
  – In Europe, 32 percent of victims come from the Balkans, 19 percent from former Soviet states, 13 percent from South America, 7 percent from Central Europe, 5 percent from Africa and 3 percent from East Asia. (UNODC, 2010)
  – One in five victims are children; two thirds of victims are women. (UNODC, 2009)
  – Conviction rates are low. In Europe on average there is less than one person convicted of human trafficking per 100,000 inhabitants. In Hungary, the rate is 0.24 per 100,000 inhabitants. In comparison, conviction rates for rare crimes such as kidnapping in Denmark stand at 3.14 per 100,000 inhabitants.

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