A report by Swiss-based company OriginAll S.A., has said global human trafficking fetches as much as $150 billion a year.
Describing is as “one of the most heinous forms of illicit trade” in a report, OriginAll said the trafficking and exploitation of human beings for profit, involves forced labour and sexual exploitation.
“Sadly, it is also highly profitable: experts rank human smuggling and trafficking as the fourth largest global crime sector, with an annual revenue of over USD150 billion”, it noted.
It said the perpetratord “victimise an estimated 25 million people worldwide, with 80% in forced labour and 20% in sex trafficking”.
Given the scale of profits, human trafficking has, like other illicit activities, “become increasingly attractive to nonstate armed groups and terrorist entities”, the report noted.
It said as experts expect the current number of over 100 million forcibly displaced people worldwide to increase to over 300 million by 2030, “human trafficking will likely continue to increase in relevance for years to come”.
The clandestine movement of people in the opposite direction – e.g., of foreign fighters into conflict zones – also has inherent security consequences, the report pointed out.
It observed that data on human trafficking is “notoriously difficult to obtain, given the high number of unreported cases”.
Reported cases, such as those collected by the IOM and UNODC, have ranged in the hundreds of thousands for the past two decades, OriginAll indicated.
“A truly global problem, human trafficking also affects individuals from seemingly peaceful regions”, it mentioned.
It said out of the almost 21,000 victims registered in the EU-28 between 2015 and 2016, 44 per cent were EU citizens.
“Despite considerable regional differences in gender and age, women and girls constitute almost three quarters of trafficking victims identified globally”, the report said.
“Many victims of trafficking find themselves in one of the various forms of modern slavery, which entrap an estimated 50 million people worldwide”.
“As traffickers continue to exploit victims with impunity in many parts of the world, multilateral actors have reiterated the need to counter these crimes”.
“This has led to a commitment by G20 leaders and a pledge by 193 countries to end human trafficking and modern slavery by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals”, indicated the report.