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UN BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), is the lead UN agency tasked with combatting all forms of human trafficking and is the guardian of the UN Protocol to Prevent Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, as well as the manager of the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. See www.unodc.org.

  • National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline
    1 (888) 373-7888
    SMS: 233733 (Text "HELP" or "INFO")
    Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
    Languages: English, Spanish and 200 more languages
    Website: www.traffickingresourcecenter.org
  • Simone Monasebian
    UNODC Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Human Trafficking
  • Join  UNODC's Blue Heart Campaign Against Trafficking in Persons: www.unodc.org/blueheart/
  • Information about UNODC’s Technical Assistance Programme for Trafficking in Persons:

UNODC’s extensive technical assistance aims at supporting  implementation of  the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, in close cooperation with UNODC’s Regional and Country Offices. This assistance includes legislative assistance, as well as the development of global practical tools for criminal justice actors which reflect international standards and norms, that can be subsequently tailored to the local needs of individual countries. In addition, UNODC maintains various online tools and techniques such as the Human Trafficking Case Law Database, Victim Translation Assistance Tool, as well as online learning modules.

In particular, UNODC has launched a four-year joint initiative “Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants” with the EU, being implemented in partnership with IOM and UNICEF, aimed at assisting certain countries in developing and implementing comprehensive national counter-trafficking and counter-smuggling responses, through a dual prevention and protection approach. More information can be found at:
www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/

Otherwise known as the Trafficking in Persons Protocol or “Palermo Protocol”, the Protocol supplements the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. With 172 State Parties, the Protocol is the first globally legally-binding  instrument with a comprehensive agreed definition of trafficking which includes at the minimum “the  exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs”.

This definition allows the harmonization of national anti-trafficking legislation between countries, thereby facilitating effective international cooperation in investigating and prosecuting trafficking in persons.

The Protocol also obliges its State Parties to criminalize trafficking in persons and take active steps to prevent  and  combat trafficking  in persons, paying particular   attention  to  women   and   children; protect and  assist  the  victims  of  such  trafficking,  with  full respect for their human rights; and promote cooperation in order to meet those objectives.

UNODC is the guardian of the Convention and the Protocol.

  • UNODC biennial Global Report on Trafficking in Persons (latest version
    2016):
    • Mandated by the GA Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons (A/RES/63/294) and produced by the UNODC, the biennial report is based on official data gathered from countries and provides a global assessment of the scope of human trafficking, including analysis of trafficking patterns and flows, as well as an overview of efforts to combat it. The Report is a source of credible and robust data and statistics that can underpin anti-trafficking efforts and will help to measure SDG implementation as the number of victims of human trafficking (disaggregated by age, sex and type of exploitation) has been selected as the  indicator to measure progress towards the implementation of SDG target 16.2.  You may find the 2016 edition, which also contains a dedicated chapter on "human trafficking, migration and conflict" at: www.unodc.org/documents/data
  • Please donate to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking, especially Women and Children: www.unodc.org/unodc/human-trafficking-fund
    Established by the GA Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons (A/RES/63/294), the Trust Fund supports NGOs all around the world in providing critical assistance and support to survivors, including medical services, shelter, legal assistance, education and vocational training. Managed by the UNODC, with a Board of Trustees appointed by the Secretary-General, the Fund is in the process of its 3rd cycle of funding, seeking new contributions from donors, as it calls for projects proposals from civil society to support.
  • UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking In Persons of 2010 (A/RES/63/294), and the GA  Political Declaration on the Implementation of the Global Plan of Action of 2017 (A/RES/72/1):
    Adopted by the General Assembly in 2010, the Plan of Action reaffirms Member States’ commitment to address the heinous crime of human trafficking in a comprehensive and coordinated manner, marrying the law-enforcement, human rights and social development perspective.  A Political Declaration on the Implementation of the Global Plan of Action was adopted by the GA in September 2017.
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) on Human Trafficking: 16.2  "End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children" As mentioned above, the number of victims of human trafficking (disaggregated by age, sex and type of exploitation) has been adopted by ECOSOC upon recommendation of the UN Statistical Commission as the indicator measuring progress towards the
    implementation of SDG target 16.2.
    • 8.7 "Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms" (the number of victims of child labour has been adopted by ECOSOC upon recommendation of the UN Statistical Commission as the indicator measuring progress towards the implementation of SDG target  8.7.
    • 5.2 "Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation".
  • UN Goodwill Ambassadors on Human Trafficking:
    Ms. Nadia Murad Basee Taha, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking (courageous leader and survivor of trafficking at the hands of ISIL, and winner of the 2016 Sakharov Prize and the 2016 Vaclav Havel Prize);   Read her book "The Last Girl". Ms. Mira Sorvino, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Human Trafficking (Renowned Advocate and Academy Award Winning Actress).