At any given time, an estimated 2.5 million people are trapped in modern-day slavery. This first World Day against Trafficking in Persons is a call to action to end this crime and give hope to the victims, who often live unrecognized among us.
Men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers both in their own countries and abroad. Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. Slavery, in both its ancient and modern forms, is not only shameful, it is as the abolitionist John Wesley said “the execrable sum of all villanies,” and has no place in our world.
In 2010, the General Assembly adopted the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, urging Governments worldwide to take coordinated and consistent measures to defeat this scourge. The Plan calls for integrating the fight against human trafficking into the UN’s broader programmes in order to boost development and strengthen security worldwide. One of the crucial provisions in the Plan is the establishment of a UN Voluntary Trust Fund for victims of trafficking, especially women and children.
In 2013, the General Assembly held a high-level meeting to appraise the Global Plan of Action. Member States also adopted resolution A/RES/68/192 and designated July 30 as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. This resolution declared that such a day was necessary to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.”
- Click here to read the Secretary-General’s statement.
- Click here to read the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ statement.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s Blue Heart Campaign raises awareness of the problem of trafficking in persons and inspire those with decision-making power to effect change.
It is open to all those who want to participate and wear the Blue Heart as a symbol of their support for this campaign. “Wear” the Blue Heart on your website, your Facebook profile, your products, your publications – above all “wear” it on your heart!
The United Nations has launched the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons. The Fund was established following the adoption by the General Assembly in July 2010 of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which urges Governments to take coordinated, comprehensive and consistent steps to combat such trafficking and to adopt a human rights-based approach.
The fund will help Governments, as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, to protect and support victims of human trafficking so that they can recover from their physical and psychological scars. UNODC has been designated to administer the Fund, with the advice of a Board of Trustees appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General.
For World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2015 see here.