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Human trafficking is a horrific crime and “an all-out assault on people’s rights, safety and dignity,” Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday, the eve of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
“Tragically, it is also a problem that is growing worse – especially for women and girls, who represent the majority of detected trafficked persons globally”.
Separated and vulnerable
Conflicts, forced displacement, climate change, inequality and poverty, have left tens of millions of people around the world destitute, isolated and vulnerable.
And the COVID-19 pandemic has separated children and young people in general from their friends and peers, pushing them into spending more time alone and online.
“Human traffickers are taking advantage of these vulnerabilities, using sophisticated technology to identify, track, control and exploit victims,” explained the UN chief.
Cyber space trafficking
Often using the so-called “dark web”, online platforms allow criminals to recruit people with false promises.
And technology anonymously allows dangerous and degrading content that fuels human trafficking, including the sexual exploitation of children.
This year’s theme – Use and Abuse of Technology – reminds everyone that while it can enable human trafficking, technology can also be a critical tool in fighting it.
The Secretary-General underscored the need for governments, businesses and civil society to invest in policies, laws and technology-based solutions that can identify and support victims, locate and punish perpetrators, and ensure a safe, open and secure internet.
“As part of 2023’s Summit of the Future, I have proposed a Global Digital Compact to rally the world around the need to bring good governance to the digital space,” he said, calling on the everyone to “give this issue the attention and action it deserves and work to end the scourge of human trafficking once and for all”.
Source: UN News