UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s message on World Day Against Human Trafficking in Persons

Human trafficking is a heinous violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms. It preys on vulnerability and thrives in times of conflict and instability.

Today, 30 July – amidst growing inequalities, worsening climate emergencies, and record displacement – more and more people are left vulnerable to traffickers. The majority of detected victims are women and children, many of whom suffer brutal violence, forced labour, and horrific sexual exploitation and abuse.Yet traffickers continue to operate with impunity.

Their crimes are receiving not nearly enough attention. This must change. We must invest much more in detection and protection. We must strengthen law enforcement to bring criminals that commodify human beings to justice. And we must do more to help survivors rebuild their lives.

On this World Day against Trafficking in Persons, let us redouble our efforts to detect, protect, and support survivors and leave no trafficking victim behind.  Together, let us build a world where no one can ever be bought, sold, or exploited.

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