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The House of Lords has compiled a report to act as an overview on human trafficking across the globe, and in relation to the United Kingdom. The report, which was published on July 18th, 2017, has been published in preparation for World Day Against Trafficking on July 30th.

The United Nations General Assembly defines human trafficking as:

“The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a 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”.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Report on Trafficking in Persons 2016, which covered one-hundred-and-thirty-six countries between 2012 and 2014, found there to be 63, 251 victims of human trafficking in one-hundred-and-six countries and territories.

Similarly, the Home Office concluded there to be an estimated ten to thirteen thousand victims of human trafficking in the United Kingdom. These figures were confirmed to be the most likely to be accurate by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The House of Lords report, using NCA statistics, found that out of 3,805 potential victims of human trafficking:

  • 1,936, or 51%, were female
  • 1,864, or 48%, were male

Out of the 1,936 female victims of human trafficking:

  • 1,209 were exploited sexually, including
  • 888 adult females
  • 321 female children

Similarly, the same report found that out of the 1,864 male victims of human trafficking:

  • 1,325 were exploited for their labour, including
  • 925 adult males
  • 400 male children

The 2016 United Nations Human Trafficking Report, also found sexual and labour exploitation to be the most common. However, the same report found that human trafficking victims were also exploited by way of sham marriages, benefits fraud, pornography production, and illegal trade in human organs.

In 2015, the David Cameron Coalition Government enacted the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The legislation, which consolidated all previous anti-slavery and human trafficking legislation in the UK, required large businesses on reports on the steps they’re taking towards preventing and removing human trafficking in their supply chains, created an independent anti-slavery commissioner, created new maritime enforcement powers, and increased criminal penalties for human trafficking and slavery crimes.





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