On the second of February the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched the new edition of its Global Report on Trafficking in Persons based on statistics for 2018. The report reveals that over the last 15 years, the number of detected victims has increased, while their profile has changed. The share of adult women among the detected victims fell from more than 70 per cent to less than 50 per cent in 2018, while the share of children detected has increased, from around 10 per cent to over 30 per cent. In the same period, the share of adult men has nearly doubled, from around 10 per cent to 20 per cent in 2018.
According to the UNODC about 50,000 human trafficking victims were detected and reported by 148 countries in 2018. Most victims identified are female. For every 10 victims detected globally in 2018, about five were adult women and two were young girls. Around 20 per cent of the victims were adult men and 15 per cent were young boys. Overall, 50 per cent of detected victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation, 38 per cent were exploited for forced labour, six per cent were subjected to forced criminal activity, while one per cent were coerced into begging and smaller numbers into forced marriages, organ removal, and other purposes.
Victims’ profiles differ according to the form of exploitation. In 2018, most women and girls detected were trafficked for sexual exploitation, whereas men and boys were mainly trafficked for forced labour. The share of detected victims trafficked for forced labour has steadily increased for more than a decade. Victims are exploited across a wide range of economic sectors, particularly in those where work is undertaken in isolated circumstances including agriculture, construction, fishing, mining, and domestic work.