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World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is observed on July 30 every year to raise awareness about the trends in human trafficking identified by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). It also aims to put pressure on governments, law enforcement agencies and civil society to strengthen the prevention of trafficking and the identification and support of victims.

While explaining the seriousness of the problem, UN noted, “Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims.” 


World Day Against Trafficking in Persons was adopted at a high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution A/RES/68/192. The resolution reaffirms the commitment of the United Nations to end trafficking in persons, especially women and children, and states that trafficking in persons is a serious threat to “human dignity and physical integrity, human rights and development”.


Global crises, conflicts and climate emergencies have increased the risk of trafficking. People who don’t have legal status, live in poverty, have limited access to education and health care, face discrimination, abuse/ violence, and come from marginalized communities are particularly vulnerable to trafficking.

In fact, the Covid-19 pandemic has also changed the nature of trafficking by driving it underground and increasing the risk to victims as the crimes are less likely to come to the attention of authorities.

According to UNODC, the criminal justice response to trafficking has slowed, with detection rates dropping 11 percent and conviction rates dropping 27 percent in recent years.


The theme of World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2023 is “Reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind”. As per UNODC, the meaning of leaving people behind is failing to end the exploitation of trafficking victims, failing to support victim-survivors once they are free from their traffickers, and leaving identifiable groups vulnerable to traffickers.

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Updated: 30 Jul 2023, 07:48 AM IST


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