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The United Nations has declared that every day, in every country, human traffickers exploit people for profit, particularly those who are poor and vulnerable. WIth numbers that show more than 70% of trafficked people are women and girls, and nearly 33% are children, the fight against human trafficking is a necessary one. 

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is here to increase public awareness about this tragic crime and grave violation of human rights, getting more people involved with prevention and protection measures.

History of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons was made official in 2013 when it was voted on and passed by the United Nations General Assembly. The resolution declared that the reason behind the observation of this day was to raise awareness for the public regarding the situation of the victims of human trafficking while working toward promoting and protecting their rights.

Human trafficking can take on all sorts of different forms in the modern world, and people can be used for many kinds of exploitative purposes. This might include forced marriages, forced begging by parent, spouse, or other controlling person, forced labor, sexual exploitation, criminal activity such as drug trafficking, or other forms of abuse.

Those who are most at risk might include vulnerable people such as homeless or runaway teens, especially those who are LGBTQ+, migrant children and youth, involvement in child-welfare systems, family instability, drug use or romantic partners who use drugs, and many others. Awareness of these types of activities and situations is key in prevention and rescue for those who are victimized or could be – and that’s what World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is all about.

How to Observe World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Get involved with the protection of people who might be at risk for trafficking by learning more about World Day Against Trafficking in Persons and then getting involved through some of these ideas:

Join the Blue Heart Community

The Blue Heart Campaign was started to encourage people from all over the world to take action against human trafficking. Governments, non-profit organizations, private and corporate sector, civil society and individuals are invited to get involved with activities, show solidarity with victims and raise awareness by joining together to make a difference.

Through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Blue Heart Campaign offers a branding symbol and other resources through their website to those who are interested in getting more involved and helping with the awareness campaign. 

Learn Signs of Human Trafficking 

An excellent way to show support for the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is to learn to spot signs of trafficking and understand the right entity toi report such activity to. In the US, resources are given through the Department of State website to help identify and report issues.

Consider these and other indicators and check out the State Department website  for more information:

  • People who live with their employer or who have poor living conditions

  • Multiple people living in cramped spaces

  • Employer retains the person’s identity documents

  • Employer or trafficker controls the person’s behavior and conversations seem scripted

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