Data from the International Labor Organization (ILO) show that, last year, 2.4 million people around the world were victims of human trafficking for purposes of forced labor. 43% of them were victims of sexual exploitation, and 32% were victims of economic exploitation.
Brazilian women, especially from the states of Ceará, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Goiás, are among the chief victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
In an effort to stem this crime, the government met yesterday, June 28, to discuss guidelines for the National Policy to Combat Human Trafficking.
According to Minister Nilcéa Freire, head of the Special Secretariat of Women’s Policies, the policy discussions should involve aspects such as the social conditions that induce many people, especially women, to face perilous situations abroad.
"The struggle to overcome hunger, extreme poverty, the abandonment of youth and children, and unemployment," she said.
The minister pointed out that the forms of punishing recruiters will also be discussed. One of the possibilities, she says, is to make human trafficking a non-bailable offense.
"To submit people to slave-like conditions constitutes a crime, so there is no reason to show any lenience to the criminals who commit this extremely complex transnational violation," she affirmed.
The ILO estimates that human trafficking generates US$ 31.6 billion in profits annually. The industrialized countries are responsible for half of this amount (US$ 15.5 billion). According to the UNODC, the criminals obtain around US$ 13 thousand in profits for each person illegally transported from one country to another.
The victims come from various places – Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and Africa – and are mostly bound for Europe. In Latin America the majority of victims are from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic.