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30 July 2020 04:33

The Killers Sanditon Jane Austen

COVID-19 slows down battle against human trafficking

Ireland is "in denial" about human trafficking, failing to identify and protect victims or to acknowledge that Irish people are being trafficked, a global expert warns. Sr Kathleen Bryant, a member of the Sisters of Charity who has worked with trafficking survivors in three continents, says the lives of girls are "worth nothing" across much of the world. They are sold, trafficked, raped and murdered and their deaths rarely meriting a line in local media, says Sr Bryant, speaking to The Irish Times to mark World Day Against Human Trafficking on Thursday. Children, particularly girls, are expendable to traffickers, says Sr Bryant, pointing to an incident earlier this month at an orphanage in Sonora state, Mexico near the Arizona border. It continues: "Traffickers exploit victims of forced labour in domestic work, the restaurant industry, waste management, fishing, seasonal agriculture and car-washing services." Responding to the TIP report, a Department of Justice spokesman said: "Combating the terrible crime of human trafficking is a priority for Ireland.

Key Highlights It was the first time in 2013 when the United Nations General Assembly designated 30 July as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. New Delhi: The world day against trafficking in persons is observed on July 30 every year in order to raise awareness about the condition of victims of human trafficking and to promote and protect their rights. It was the first time in 2013 when the United Nations General Assembly designated 30 July as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. And the same year, the UN General Assembly held a high-level meeting to form a global plan of action to tackle Trafficking in persons. At the global level, the governments are detecting and reporting more victims and are working to convict more traffickers.

The theme of this year's World Day Against Trafficking focuses on first responders to human trafficking. According to the UNODC, people are being trafficked for various exploitative purposes including forced marriage, begging, labour, sexual exploitation, organs removal, selling children BANGKOK: Thailand's top anti-trafficking cop has vowed to boost training for police nationwide to better respond to a rising number of cases of sexual exploitation and forced labour outside Bangkok. Police lieutenant general Jaruvat Vaisaya, director of the Anti-Human Trafficking Centre under the Royal Thai Police, said Thailand had a shortage of officers based outside the capital with expertise in investigating cases of human trafficking. "We have found an increase in cases in provincial areas where we couldn't send our staff (from Bangkok) in time," Jaruvat told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview ahead of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on Jul 30. Jaruvat said 150 police officers and civil servants from across the country had this week started a training course to help them better identify and deal with victims of trafficking.

The annual US Trafficking in Persons report, which ranks nations based on their anti-trafficking efforts, said Thai officials were increasingly conflating smuggling and trafficking crimes, and struggling to properly identify and protect victims. The United Nations (UN) designated July 30 every year as a day to raise awareness on the plight of victims of cold-hearted activities of human trafficking, and promote and protect their rights. Just as in the Coronavirus pandemic has provided "frontline workers" as a common refrain for all those who provide medical care for COVID-19 patients in isolation or treatment centres, so are those who work to provide succour for victims of human trafficking are regarded as frontline workers. The theme of this year's World Day against Trafficking in Persons is "Committed to the Cause – Working on the Frontline to End Human Trafficking," which focuses on the first responders to human trafficking. These, according to the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, are the people who work in different sectors in a bid to identify, support, counsel and seek justice for victims of trafficking.

"The law enforcement officers, social workers, health care professionals, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), members of staff and many others working around the world to protect the vulnerable and to end the crime of human trafficking," he said. "The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated many global inequalities, created new obstacles on the path to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and left millions of people at greater risk of being trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced labour forced marriages and other crimes. "Women and girls already account for more than 70 per cent of detected human trafficking victims, and currently are among the hardest hit by the pandemic. "If the world is to put human dignity and human rights at the centre of the COVID-19 response and recovery, we need to do more to protect trafficking victims and prevent vulnerable people from being exploited by criminals." Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to encourage their victims or their parents to agree to their proposal of securing exciting job opportunities abroad and then lure and force them into labour or commercial sexual exploitation in the case of girls. Information from its website donttradelives.com.au indicates that "Don't Trade Lives examines the issue of labour exploitation worldwide because human trafficking and slavery are about buying and selling of people for exploitative labour or sexual slavery.

The Agency's Director-General Julie Okah-Donli has revealed that it secured more than 23 convictions of human trafficking offenders last year, even as she said 749 human trafficking and other related cases were reported to the agency last year, out of which 538 suspects were prosecuted. This form of human trafficking, they say, occurs when a person has to work to pay back an inherited debt, or when a debt is incurred as part of the terms of employment. According to research findings by the Global Slavery Index, 40.3 million people are victims of modern slavery worldwide, 71 per cent of whom are women and girls while children constitute 25 per cent of the figure. In terms of earnings, it is estimated that human trafficking grosses global profits of roughly $150 billion a year for traffickers, of which $99 billion accrues from commercial sexual exploitation. Apart from the above global estimates which Nigeria Human Trafficking Factsheet released on February 10 lays credence to, another $51 billion results from forced economic exploitation, including domestic work and other economic activities. Citing the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)), it stressed that "the average woman trafficked for forced sexual servitude/exploitation generates $100,000 in annual profits, while an estimate by the United Nations revealed that the smuggling route from East, North and West Africa to Europe is said to generate $150 million in annual profits." According to Pathfinders Justice Initiative, a non-governmental organisation committed to the eradication of modern slavery, women and girls represented 84 per cent of the 15.4 million people in forced marriages and 59 per cent of those in private forced labour. This is according to 2019 US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report. According to the latest Global Slavery Index (2018) Report, Nigeria ranks 32 out of 167 countries with the highest number of slaves – 1,386,000. The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) reports that the average age of trafficked children in Nigeria in 2019 is 15.