People trafficking should be at the top of the world’s agenda. Along with modern slavery – unpaid labour under the threat of violence – it is the most widespread form of man’s inhumanity to man. Slave produced products include Chinese paperclips, carpets from India, Pakistan and Nepal, chocolate from the Ivory Coast, charcoal from Brazil, and sugar from the Dominican Republic (Source Abolish.
20 million people across the world (source UN) are subject to bonded labour. Up to 179 million children suffer under the worst forms of child labour (source ILO) An estimated 5 million women and children are trafficked every year (UN). A recent US Government report estimated 600,000-800,000 people are trafficked across borders each year.
As far as the UK is concerned, Home Office research in 2000 estimated between 142 and 1,420 women and children trafficked into the country each year – but this figure was based solely on reported cases – and trafficking is one of the most clandestine crimes, it’s victims by and large unable to testify.