Tuesday, March 11, 2008

UN: Society Favors Trafficking, UN Warns

VIENNA, UNITED NATIONS - Today's societies are geared towards favouring human trafficking, be it for sexual exploitation or forced labour, a senior United Nations official warned on Friday.

Speaking to journalists at the end of UN-sponsored anti- trafficking event UN.GIFT, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) head Antonio Maria Costa said that the "dramatic trend" towards exhibiting women, for example in ads, created a vulnerability towards this crime.

"It is ... preying on women. I am also talking about rich countries, not just the gender disparities we see in developing countries," Costa said.

Furthermore, the drive to cut costs, engendered by globalization, led to more exploitation.

"People feel the moral right to go and exploit other individuals just to cut costs," Costa warned, also slamming the "benign neglect" many nations still displayed towards human trafficking, a crime significantly more challenging to combat than drug trafficking, due to lack of information and political will.

At UN.GIFT, representatives from 116 nations, international organizations and NGOs gathered to raise awareness and launch on-the-ground measures to combat trafficking, both the supply of victims and demand for goods or services produced by the victims...


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