Home » Human Trafficking » Who Trafficks Women and Girls?

Who Trafficks Women and Girls?

Organized crime is largely responsible for the spread of international human trafficking. Sex trafficking – along with its correlative elements, kidnapping, rape, prostitution and physical abuse – is illegal in nearly every country in the world. However, widespread corruption and greed make it possible for sex trafficking to quickly and easily proliferate. Though national and international institutions may attempt to regulate and enforce anti-trafficking legislation, local governments and police forces may in fact be participating in sex trafficking rings.

Why do traffickers traffic? Because sex trafficking can be extremely lucrative, especially in areas where opportunities for education and legitimate employment may be limited. According to UNODC, the greatest numbers of traffickers are from Asia, followed by Central and South-Eastern Europe, and Western Europe. Crime groups involved in the sex trafficking of women and girls are also often involved in the transnational trafficking of drugs and firearms, and frequently use violence as a means of carrying out their activities.

One overriding factor in the proliferation of trafficking is the fundamental belief that the lives of women and girls are expendable. In societies where women and girls are undervalued or not valued at all, women are at greater risk of being abused, trafficked and coerced into sex slavery. If women experienced improved economic and social status, trafficking would in large part be eradicated.