Human Trafficking

Migration, both internal and to another country, legally and otherwise,is a key vulnerability for human trafficking because migrants so often fall outside of the full legal protections of their countries of origin, countries of transit, and countries of destination. Those victimized by human traffickers in the United States are disproportionately from Latin America – most frequently from Mexico. (From Polaris

The United Nations keeps track of human trafficking. Only about 25,000 cases are formally reported worldwide, a figure greatly influenced by government law enforcement practices. There is much intra-state and neighboring country trafficking. For instance, most of the cases identified by law enforcement in Africa involved activity in sub-Saharan Africa, not transport to other continents.

There are large variations in trafficking experience, the data influenced by variations in law enforcement and reporting practices. Abduction of women and girls for sexual slavery has been reported in many conflicts in Central and West Africa, as well as in the conflicts in the Middle East. It has also been reported that women and girls are trafficked for forced marriage in the same areas.

Recruitment of children for use as armed combatants is widely documented in many of the conflict areas considered: from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Central African Republic, as well as in conflicts in the Middle East and other parts of Asia. Armed groups recruit children for exploitation in forced labour in various supportive roles, from logistics to catering. Recruitment and exploitation of children in extractive industries have been reported conflicts in sub- Saharan Africa, in some cases for the purpose of financing the activities of armed groups.

Within conflict zones, armed groups may make use of trafficking as a strategy to assert territorial dominance. They can spread fear of being trafficked among groups in the territories where they operate to keep the local population under control. They may also use women and girls as ‘sex slaves’ or force them into marriages to appeal to new potential male recruits.

See the U.N. Protocols 

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