“Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of threat, use of force or other means of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the receiving or giving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation.”
– Article 3 of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Crime
Sixty-three years ago on December 2, the United States General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, naming December 2 the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. Since then, trafficking in persons (TIP) has increased dramatically. There are more human slaves in the world today than ever before in history. The International Organisation of Migration (IOM) estimated that 800,000 people may be trafficked across international borders annually and thousands more are trafficked within the borders of their own countries. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that 12.3 million adults and children are in forced or bonded labor, including sexual servitude, at any time. Lastly, more than 80% of TIP victims are women, and over 50% are children.
The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery focuses on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, including trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, child labor, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict. The damage caused by slavery goes well beyond just stealing someone’s freedom. It plays a major role in the spread of HIV because 75-80% of human trafficking is for sex. According to the IOM, “the root causes of trafficking worldwide are the demand for cheap labor, sexual services, and some criminal activities. Major contributing factors include poverty, lack of economic opportunity, lack of social power, and lack of decision-making power over one’s personal life.”
PCI is committed to ending slavery in our lifetime though economic empowerment, access to education, and poverty solutions. PCI has recently created a manual on Trafficking in Person (TIP), discussing the prominence of this issue in Ethiopia. Considering the high diasporas and migrations rates of Ethiopia, TIP persists at higher levels than other African countries. Not only does TIP destabilize local labor markets, it causes a shift in national population, affecting the market and economy. PCI’s manual describes the relationship between TIP and various vulnerabilities of Ethiopia, protection of TIP victims and prevention of TIP. By raising awareness of TIP and providing education on the prevention, protection and prosecution of TIP, PCI is helping to end human trafficking around the world and give people a chance for a better future.