Tuesday, March 11, 2008

UN: Human Trafficking Industry Worth $31 Billion

FROM CORRESPONDENTS IN VIENNA - The human trafficking industry is a beast of unknown size whose extent must be determined, a senior UN official said at the close of an international forum on the racket.

"We need to move into a better knowledge of the problem," Antonio Maria Costa, head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said.

"It's a beast of which we only know the footprints but don't know the size of it."

Costa was talking to journalists at the end of the three-day forum in Vienna sponsored by UN.GIFT (the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking), an offshoot of the UNODC funded by the United Arab Emirates.

British actress Emma Thompson, Latino pop star Ricky Martin and Egypt's First Lady Suzanne Mubarak were among those who lent their names to an international campaign when the forum opened on Wednesday...


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