The State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which was released yesterday, says the global economic crisis is boosting the demand for human trafficking because of a growing demand for cheap goods and services. It cites the International Labor Organization, which estimates that at least 12.3 million adults and children are victims of forced labor, bonded labor and sex slavery each year.
“A striking global demand for labor and a growing supply of workers willing to take ever greater risks for economic opportunities seem a recipe for increased forced labor cases of migrant workers and women in prostitution,” it says.
It predicts that the economic crisis will push more businesses underground to avoid taxes and unionized labor, which will increase the use of forced, cheap and child labor by cash-strapped multinational companies.
The report surveys the efforts of 175 countries in their fight against trafficking and slavery. The countries are then ranked, and negligent countries face sanctions by the United States. The United States, however, is not ranked among them. This year, however, the Justice Department did issue a report on efforts to combat trafficking efforts in the United States. According to the report, in 2008 the FBI opened 132 trafficking investigations, made 139 arrests and obtained 94 convictions.
Next year, the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report will rank the efforts of the United States to combat slavery and trafficking within its own borders.
Information from CNN. Read the article here.