According to a conference by the International Labour Organization (ILO) about 21 million people, or three out of 1,000 people globally, are in forced labor. The ILO also stated that about 4.5 million of these people, mainly women and girls, were victims of sexual exploitation. Ruchira Gupta, founder of Indian charity Apne Aap Women Worldwide that works with prostitutes in 10 red light districts, said cuts in funding to women's projects had reduced the options open to women and girls other than prostitution. David Batstone, president and co-founder of anti-trafficking organization Not For Sale, said the global financial crisis as well as political instability created vulnerable communities at risk of exploitation.
Fighting human trafficking: 5 lessons from the field
An important worldwide campaign against gender-based violence recently came to an end. These "16 Days Against Gender Violence" began on Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and ended Dec. 10 on Human Rights Day. Many forms of inequality are woven into what creates an enabling environment for trafficking, including income disparities, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, and gender discrimination. Men, women and children are trafficked for forced labor, sexual exploitation, their organs, and petty crimes. The work of private and public organizations have yielded important results and five important lessons for consideration by the international community.