collage of portraits of six survivors
The stories of human trafficking survivors illustrate the impact of survivor engagement and the need for victim empowerment - each story shows the motivation to engage in anti-trafficking efforts.
Photo:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Victims’ Voices Lead the Way

This year’s theme puts victims of human trafficking at the centre of the campaign and will highlight the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking. The campaign portrays survivors as key actors in the fight against human trafficking and focusses on the crucial role they play in establishing effective measures to prevent this crime, identify and rescue victims and support them on their road to rehabilitation.

Many victims of human trafficking have experienced ignorance or misunderstanding in their attempts to get help. They have had traumatic post-rescue experiences during identification interviews and legal proceedings. Some have faced revictimization and punishment for crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers. Others have been subjected to stigmatization or received inadequate support.

Learning from victims’ experiences and turning their suggestions into concrete actions will lead to a more victim-centred and effective approach in combating human trafficking.

Hastag for Desertification and Drought Day

Why a Blue Heart?

The Blue Heart represents the sadness of those who are trafficked, while reminding us of the cold-heartedness of those who buy and sell fellow human beings.

Sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery…

Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. UNODC, as guardian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the Protocols thereto, assists States in their efforts to implement the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (Trafficking in Persons Protocol).

The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

The World Day against Trafficking in Persons was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/68/192.

Did you know?

  • In 2018 about 50,000 human trafficking victims were detected and reported by 148 countries. 
  • 50 per cent of detected victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation, 38 per cent were exploited for forced labour.
  • Female victims continue to be the primary targets. Women make up 46% and girls 19% of all victims of trafficking.
  • Globally, one in every three victims detected is a child. 
  • The share of children among detected trafficking victims has tripled, while the share of boys has increased five times over the past 15 years.

Source: UNODC Human Trafficking FAQs

Human Faces

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HEAR THEIR STORIES Help Rebuild Their Lives

Read the stories of some of the many women, men and children, who have gained a second chance at life thanks to the effective and compassionate work of the NGO grantees of the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking, managed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

report cover with drawing of girl

The 2020 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons is the fifth of its kind mandated by the General Assembly through the 2010 United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. The report draws on data from 148 countries and explores issues of particular relevance in the current crisis, including the impact of socio-economic factors, drivers of child trafficking and trafficking for forced labour, and traffickers’ use of the internet.

The smuggling of migrants is a crime with deep roots. Many factors increase vulnerability to this practice, including poverty, conflict and environmental disaster. Therefore, education has an important role to play in combating the practice, including in raising awareness among students of the smuggling of migrants and the vulnerabilities and risks linked to it. This Guide is an accompaniment to the video on the smuggling of migrants.

 

illustration of people with clock, calendar, to-do list and decorations

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.