• Austria's news in English

UN marks first day against human trafficking

The Local · 30 Jul 2014, 11:58

Published: 30 Jul 2014 11:58 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, is attending and there will be a performance by the World Peace Choir Festival, featuring 650 children from across the globe.

Following the performance the children will release 500 blue heart-shaped balloons to demonstrate solidarity with the victims of human trafficking and to give a message of hope for their freedom.

Trafficking in human beings (THB) is a global problem and a thriving criminal industry that affects the lives of millions of children, women and men around the world who are trapped in a type of modern day slavery, the EU’s law enforcement agency Europol said in a statement.

The UN is highlighting the need for an improved coordination of efforts to bring down the organised criminal groups involved.

Human trafficking is defined as the act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harbouring or receiving a person through the use of force, fraud, deception or other means with the aim of exploiting them.

The UNODC acknowledges that it is difficult to assess the real magnitude of human trafficking because it is often not identified, or misidentified.

However, a conservative estimate puts the number of victims at any one time at 2.5 million. According to the UNODC, the most common form of trafficking in persons is for sexual exploitation, at 79 percent.

Many victims are also trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and domestic servitude.

A major problem in the EU, according to Europol, is the growing number of cases involving trafficked adults and children who are forced into committing crimes like burglary and property crime, fraud and swindling, pick-pocketing, shoplifting, metal theft and street begging.

The majority of victims reported to Europol are EU citizens that have been trafficked and exploited within the EU. They can fall into the hands of traffickers both in their own countries and abroad. 61 percent of the victims reported to Europol are women, 26 percent men and 13 percent are children.

“Human trafficking is not only a grotesque violation of human rights, it is a lucrative crime for the traffickers,” said Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol.

“We as law enforcement must better understand the nature of the crime that we are trying to confront - for example, labour exploitation and child trafficking are often undetected due to the lack of a proactive approach to look behind legal and other illegal activities.”


For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available