The UN Office on Drugs and Crime released a report last week revealing the negative effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on victims of human trafficking -- which has been our fear for 18 months.
They report the pandemic has made it difficult to trace traffickers and has also enabled traffickers to find victims due to the increase in the use of online platforms.
"Women and girls have been recruited, often locally or online, for sexual exploitation, especially in private apartments. Children have been particularly affected- out of school and needing to support parents who have lost their livelihoods, children have been increasingly targeted by traffickers at the local level and online. They have been trafficked for sexual purposes, forced marriage, forced begging and for forced criminality"
The report made several recommendations, including providing assistance to trafficking victims and victims of domestic violence to leave their place of residence without any consequences for doing so during lockdowns.