Human trafficking has declined significantly during the pandemic. At least officially. Because on the part of the United Nations, the concern remains.
Attention is paid to the poorest countries. Human trafficking, prostitution and forced labor thrive in the shadows, especially online, without criminals being harassed by the judiciary.
A trend that Ilias Chatzis, head of the Human Trafficking Unit at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, explains.
“Online sexual exploitation has exploded. But during the pandemic, law enforcement and judicial agencies have ground to a complete halt in a number of countries. They have had to diversify their workforce to keep their healthcare systems running.”
Cases related to human trafficking saw an 11% decrease. The gap between rich and poor countries remains significant. While it has halved in Asia and North Africa, that number is increasing in Europe and North America. These declining cases are a first in twenty years that will not remain an exception. And that is what worries the UN agency.
Because in other years of the pandemic, human traffickers had the opportunity to expand their criminal structures undetected.
“The numbers have come down so much that if we want any real ways to eradicate these crimes, we need to rethink.” concludes the UN chief.
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