The world day against trafficking in persons is observed on July 30 every year in order to raise awareness about the condition of victims of human trafficking and to promote and protect their rights.
It was the first time in 2013 when the United Nations General Assembly designated 30 July as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. And the same year, the UN General Assembly held a high-level meeting to form a global plan of action to tackle Trafficking in persons.
The theme of this year’s World Day Against Trafficking focuses on first responders to human trafficking.
According to the UN, the first responders are those who work in different fields like identifying, supporting, counselling and working to provide justice for victims of trafficking. The first responders also include people who are working to challenge the impunity of traffickers.
The role of first responders has become even more challenging amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With restrictions on the movement, the work of detecting trafficking has met several roadblocks. But despite the pandemic, the first responders continue to do their duties. And thus UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has decided to honour their hard work amid trying times.
The UN has also initiated ‘The Blue Heart Campaign’ to raise global awareness to fight human trafficking and its impact on society. The campaign aims to encourage the involvement of the governments, civil society, the corporate sector and individuals to inspire action and help prevent this heinous crime.
According to the UNODC, people are being trafficked for various exploitative purposes including forced marriage, begging, labour, sexual exploitation, organs removal, selling children and child soldiers.
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.
According to the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol, Trafficking in Persons is 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.