Press Releases

UNIS/CP/405
19 February 2002

FIGHT AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING GAINS AN AWARENESS-RAISING TOOL IN GLOBAL TELEVISION CAMPAIGN

VIENNA, 19 February (UN Information Service) – A new video spot is being released today as a part of a global television campaign by the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) to increase education and awareness about trafficking in human beings.

The focus of the 30 and 60 second versions of the video spot is the trafficking in men, women and children for bonded and forced labour activities, such as factory work, fieldwork or as domestic servants. The video spot aims to provide a stark warning to millions of potential victims about the dangers of trafficking and to raise consciousness among the general public about the epidemic growth of this modern-day slavery. Trafficking is a global phenomenon, and the video spot is designed to reach audiences in countries where trafficking originates, as well as in destination countries where victims often end up.

Human trafficking is the fastest-growing business of organised crime with an estimated 700,000 people trafficked every year for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labour. Europol estimates that the industry is now worth several billion dollars annually.

Poverty is a driving force in the rise of trafficking, and traffickers prey on the most vulnerable – particularly women and children – the poorest and the least educated. Traffickers recruit victims with the prospect of well-paid jobs abroad, but upon reaching their destination country, victims’ documents are usually taken and they end up forced to pay off alleged debts under the threat of violence. Many are then coerced into bonded labour, often including sexual exploitation.

In January 2001, ODCCP launched its global television campaign to help create awareness about human trafficking with a video spot focused on the trafficking of women for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labour. That video spot has been broadcast on national networks in over 35 countries, as well as on global and regional networks, such as CNN and MTV.

The new video spot on human trafficking for bonded and forced labour is currently available in nine languages: English, Russian, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Swahili, Hausa and German.

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For more information, please contact:

Kemal Kurspahic, United Nations, kemal.kurspahic@undcp.org, (+431) 26060-5629
Luciana Viegas, United Nations, l.viegas-assumpcao@undcp.org, (+431) 26060-4712