In a report released by the United Nations, women and girls account for almost 70 per cent of human trafficking. The study, conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), covers 142 countries, looking at trafficking trends and patterns. According to the report,
"The overall number of reported trafficking victims has increased. This might mean that more people are being trafficked, but also that national capacities to detect this crime and identify victims are improving in some countries. Increases in trafficking convictions have also been recorded in Asia, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East, broadly tracking the rise in the number of reported victims."
It adds that most of the victims are females, mainly adult women but also girls. "Almost three-quarters of the detected victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation are females, and 35 per cent of the victims trafficked for forced labour are also females, both women and girls," states the report.
Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of UNODC, writes in the preface,
"The need to take urgent action against these violations has been recognised by the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to Nadia Murad, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. Ms Murad, a young Yazidi woman who was enslaved and raped by ISIL terrorists after they destroyed her village and killed members of her family, is the first-ever human trafficking victim to serve as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with Dr Denis Mukwege for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict – a well-deserved honour for her tireless efforts to tell her story and seek justice."
Human trafficking continues to be a massive challenge of our age and Nadia's work has been commendable. But we are far far away from a resolution. Though India has its own human trafficking bill, it is flawed. One of the initiatives working in this space is Leena Kejriwal's Missing that has been putting the spotlight on trafficking.