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Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Trafficking in Persons: Preliminary findings and messaging based on rapid stocktaking

While it may seem that the restrictions placed on our societies in light of the COVID-19 crisis--such as lockdowns, travel bans, and restricted economic activities--would dissuade crime and human trafficking, UNODC reveals that it may just drive it further underground. Furthermore, these restrictions limit authorities and non-governmental organizations' ability to help victims of crimes. It is also clear that the pandemic has exacerbated the economic and societal inequalities that cause human trafficking. For children, the pandemic leads to a heightened risk of exploitation, as many are out of school and some families may experience loss of income.

This brief describes the protection risks for victims of trafficking amidst the COVID-19 crisis and recommendations for action to combat these risks.

Published 2020-05-11