The rights group says that coronavirus pandemic has made the situation worst for victims of human trafficking. There approximately 400,000 people who are facing modern slavery even now. These people are sex workers and forced laborers.
The lockdown measures due to the novel coronavirus have made certain conditions conducive to people suffering from human trafficking. A leading anti-trafficking group named Polaris said that many people were seeking immediate shelter to escape.
The interim chief executive of Polaris, Nancy McGuire Choi, said that the economic devastation, sufferers of domestic violence, and people stuck in desperate situations were getting vulnerable to human trafficking.
COVID 19 making people vulnerable to human trafficking
The country faced massive unemployment due to the outbreak of COVID-19 which started from mid-March. All of the economic activities and businesses were closed for a long span of time.
Polaris said that the emergency hotline number has been getting numerous calls for help. The total number of phone calls doubled of what it was in April. March records 29 calls while April records 54. Human traffickers use frauds, coercion on the people. The victims are put into forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said that the COVID-19 pandemic has created various new opportunities in which organized crime can take place with more profit.
UNODC’s human trafficking section chief Ilias Chatzis said human traffickers are getting more active on people now more than ever. The people are more vulnerable as they lost their jobs or any source of income. They are easy to manipulate right now. Many are taking advantage of the pandemic and making lives miserable.
Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking, a US-based anti-trafficking coalition reported that people are getting more vulnerable due to the traffickers. The US, as well as the whole world, is facing financial insecurity. It is one of the reasons that undocumented migrants and refugees are most vulnerable to this trafficking.
Financial turmoil, lack of social safety supports, lack of shelter language barriers undocumented immigration status are the few important reasons which are affecting human trafficking due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will have a long lasting effect on society and the whole world.
Globally the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that almost 16 million victims are trapped into forced labor and human trafficking. Moreover, with the given situation, the possibility of rescuing such people are also vague.