A report released by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) revealed that one in three known victims of human trafficking is a child, and that the rate of trafficking has gone up in recent years.
The report says that trafficking children has risen by five percent since 2010, with 70 percent of those affected being female.
“There is no place in the world where children, women and men are safe from human trafficking,” said UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov.
According to the report, the figures on global human trafficking, which are gathered from the number of reported cases, represent “the tip of the iceberg” of the true scale of the problem.
“It is very clear that the scale of modern-day slavery is far worse,” said Fedotov.
The report stated that the majority of human trafficking reports come from African countries, “where the different armed groups operating in Central and West Africa have been forcibly recruiting children to use them as combatants for decades.”
The report revealed that an “exceptionally high” number of recorded traffickers were women, although the UNODC says that that may be due to their low ranking positions in trafficking organisations.
“Given that many human trafficking investigations are based on victims’ testimonies, these low-ranking female traffickers are most likely to be identified and convicted, while the men at the top of the chain are rarely seen or known by the victims,” Kristiina Kangaspunta, chief of the UNODC’s Global Report on Trafficking in Persons Unit, told Reuters.