Human trafficking is a global problem and no country either developed or developing is immune, according to a new report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), reports BDNEWS.
"Governments need to get serious about identifying the full extent of the problem so that they can get serious about eliminating it. The fact that slavery -- in the form of human trafficking - still exists in the 21st century shames us all," UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa made the observation while introducing the 123-page report Monday.
According to the report, Bangladesh has been placed in the High category as a country of origin and reported as Low category as a transit route.
Bangladesh also falls in the Low category for occurrence of reporting of destination countries.
When considering Asia an origin region, and the destinations to which victims are trafficked from Asia, sources report that Asian victims are trafficked to Asian countries, pointing to intra-regional trafficking, in particular to Thailand, Japan, India, Taiwan and Pakistan, the report said.
China and Thailand are both ranked very high in the citation index as origin countries, with Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam ranked high in the citation index as countries of origin.
If Asia is considered as a destination for trafficked victims, trafficking into the region is reported mainly from the Commonwealth of Independent States, followed by Southeastern Asia.
Southeastern Asia is reported to be a crucial point of trafficking both out of and into the region. Thailand ranks very high in the citation index as an origin, transit and destination country. Other Asian countries that ranked very high in the citation index as destinations are Japan (Eastern Asia), Israel and Turkey (Western Asia).
Each year, millions of women and children along with a smaller percentage of men are abducted or recruited from 127 countries, transported though transit regions and end up in one of 137 countries for either sexual exploitation or forced labour, according to UNODC.
The report entitled "Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns" is the United Nations' first attempt to provide a global overview of the depth and scope of the problem, chart trafficking patterns and lay out a challenge to the international community to intensify efforts to fight the problem.
The UNODC said adult women are the most frequent victims followed by girls, boys and men.
Trafficking for sexual exploitation was reported more frequently than for forced labour, the report said. In situations in which sources expressly reported exploitation of boys, that exploitation tended to be in the labour market; sexual exploitation was reported more frequently among girls.
Countries high on the list of "origin countries" are Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, China, Lithuania, Nigeria, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Thailand and Ukraine, according to the report. High on the list of destinations are Belgium, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Thailand, Turkey and the United States.
Efforts to counter trafficking so far have been uncoordinated and inefficient, Costa said. "The lack of systematic reporting by authorities is a real problem. Governments need to try harder."