Today is July 30, 2022 – the date chosen by the United Nations to raise awareness about human trafficking each year. With the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimating that approximately 25 million people are victims of human trafficking worldwide, GWU is calling on this day to collectively raise awareness and focus on increasing prevention of this abuse by encouraging vigilance and rallying support for the prevention of human trafficking.
This year’s theme focuses on the role of technology as a tool that can both enable and prevent human trafficking. Human trafficking and modern slavery are a huge global problem to which few countries are immune.
Thousands of men, women, and children fall into the hands of traffickers every year, often duped into thinking they are being taken for work that will improve their family’s future, or through violence, kidnapping, or even many poor families selling children to survive. There are many ways people fall into the clutches of trafficking, but the result is the same: they lose their rights and identity and are used and abused, and it is a global problem, an industry not far behind drugs and weapons in terms of traffickers’ profits.
Victims of trafficking are forced into labour, hard labour, or prostitution, usually having their identities and papers stripped from them and facing terrible penalties if they escape. Often, these people end up in foreign countries where they do not speak the language and have no way to get help.
With the global expansion of the use of technology – exacerbated by the pandemic and the shift in our lives to more work on platforms – there is an opportunity for more human trafficking. The Internet and digital platforms provide traffickers with many opportunities to recruit, exploit, and control victims, recruit victims, and reach out to clients – all while remaining anonymous. Technology enables these criminals to operate on an international scale.
Situation of victims in criminal proceedings; and provision of support services. Activities on safe use of the Internet and social media can help reduce the risk of people becoming victims of online trafficking,” the GWU stresses.
Malta has joined the Blue Heart Campaign for the third consecutive year and is expanding its commitment to combating the global phenomenon of human trafficking, continuing to work with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Here in Malta, a series of activities have been organized to raise public awareness about the national fight against human trafficking, both on local television and radio stations and on electronic websites and social media.