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COVID-19 could make more communities vulnerable to human trafficking: UNODC

The UNDOC says every day, in every country across the globe, human traffickers are exploiting people for profit and the poor and vulnerable remain most at risk.

Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN – The impact of COVID-19 could make more communities vulnerable to human trafficking.

That's the view of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

It's marking the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons – which this year focuses on first responders who identify, support, counsel, and seek justice for trafficking victims.

The UNDOC says every day, in every country across the globe, human traffickers are exploiting people for profit and the poor and vulnerable remain most at risk.

More than 70% of detected victims are women and girls while nearly a third are minors.

The UNODC’s Ghada Waly said COVID-19 threatens to amplify human trafficking.

“The loss of jobs, growing poverty, schools closures and increased online interactions are opening up opportunities for organised crime groups.”

She says the crisis has overwhelmed social and public services and has made it harder for victims to seek help.

Despite the challenges, frontline heroes continue to risk their lives - and go above and beyond - to provide essential support to those taken.