Risk of Trafficking During Covid-19

Covid 19

Valiant Richey, Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, has issued a statement urging the international community to be more vigilant and step up efforts in the fight against human trafficking during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is during times of crisis that exploitation of the vulnerable becomes more prevalent. Human trafficking feeds off vulnerability. He states:

“Although the COVID-19 threat is universal, the negative consequences of this crisis will be disproportionately carried by the most vulnerable in our societies. Firstly, victims of trafficking face exceptional danger as entrenched systems of exploitation are thrown into disarray and traffickers seek to maintain their revenue through greater violence or new forms of exploitation. Meanwhile, access to shelters and other support structures is increasingly limited at a time when need is at its greatest. Secondly, as resources gravitate to address public health concerns, attention is diverted from deterring criminal actors, and vulnerable persons already living in precarious circumstances are now at greater risk for being swept into exploitative situations.” Read more…

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