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Global report on trafficking in persons

The 2012 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons was released on December 12, 2012 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The Global Report 2012 provides an overview of patterns and flows of trafficking in persons at global, regional and national levels, based on trafficking cases detected between 2007 and 2010 (or more recent). The report also includes a chapter on the worldwide response to trafficking in persons. The Country Profiles of the Global Report present a national level analysis for each of the 132 countries covered by this edition of the report.

Victims are trafficked around the world for sexual exploitation, forced labour, begging, petty crimes, removal of organs and for other exploitative purposes. Trafficking in persons is a truly global phenomenon: between 2007 and 2010, victims from at least 136 countries were detected in 118 countries worldwide. Because of this diffusion as well as the hidden nature of trafficking crimes, it is difficult to estimate the size of the problem.

Many countries have recently passed a legislation criminalizing trafficking in persons as a specific offence. However, definitions of human trafficking vary, as does the capacity to detect offenders and victims. Even though, there is a general increase in the number of prosecutions and convictions globally, the overall criminal justice response to trafficking in persons appears to remain very weak.

The Report has revealed that 27 per cent of all victims of human trafficking officially detected globally between 2007 and 2010 are children, up 7 per cent from the period 2003 to 2006. Also worrying is the increase in the number of girl victims, who make up two thirds of all trafficked children.  Girls now constitute 15 to 20 per cent of the total number of all detected victims, including adults, whereas boys comprise about 10 per cent.

Within this picture, there are significant regional variations.  While the share of detected child victims is 68 per cent in Africa and the Middle East, and 39 per cent in South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, that proportion diminishes to 27 per cent in the Americas and 16 per cent in Europe and Central Asia.

The vast majority of trafficked persons are women, accounting for 55 to 60 per cent of victims detected globally.  However, the total proportion of women and girls together soars to about 75 per cent, with men constituting about 14 per cent of the total of detected victims. Nonetheless, this is not a uniform picture as one in four detected victims is a male.

Between 2007 and 2010, 460 different trafficking flows were identified.  Around half of all trafficking took place within the same region with 27 per cent occurring within ational borders. One exception is the Middle East, where most detected victims are East and South Asians.

There are significant regional differences in the detected forms of exploitation. Countries in Africa and in Asia generally intercept more cases of trafficking for forced labor, while sexual exploitation is somewhat more frequently found in Europe and in the Americas. Additionally, trafficking for organ removal was detected in 16 countries around the world.

The Report raises concerns about low conviction rates – 16 per cent of reporting countries did not record a single conviction for trafficking in persons between 2007 and 2010.


Full report (PDF, 5.1 MB)


Africa and Middle East
Europe and Central Asia
South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY English Français Русский

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