Vienna (Austria), 30 July 2020 - Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad.
This year’s World Day against Trafficking in Persons focuses on the first responders to human trafficking. These are the people who work in different sectors - identifying, supporting, counselling and seeking justice for victims of trafficking, and challenging the impunity of the traffickers. During the COVID-19 crisis, the essential role of first responders has become even more important, particularly as the restrictions imposed by the pandemic have made their work even more difficult.
Through stories from first responders describing their practical work in assisting victims UNODC intends to spotlight their contribution and that of their function, institution, organization, team, or community and its impact on fighting trafficking. The key messages focus on the positive, recognizing the importance of the work done by first responders, as well as seeking support and raising awareness that these actions need to be sustained and replicated. The stories also highlight how first responders remained committed during the pandemic.
Stories of frontline workers are available at: endht.org
Vienna (Austria), 10 July 2020 - The World Wildlife Crime Report 2020 was launched by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The report emphasizes the threat that wildlife crime poses to nature and the biodiversity of the planet.
The report states that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that wildlife crime is a threat, not only to the environment and biodiversity, but also to human health. When wild animals are removed from their natural habitat and sold illegally, the potential for transmission of zoonotic diseases - those caused by pathogens that spread from animals to humans - is increased.
The report draws heavily on UNODC’s World WISE database, which contains almost 180,000 seizures from 149 countries and territories. The database shows that nearly 6,000 species were seized between 1999-2019, including mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, corals and hard woods. This data underscores the global nature of the issue.
Wildlife crime affects all countries through its impacts on biodiversity, human health, security and socio-economic development. Stopping the trafficking in wildlife species is a critical step not just to protect biodiversity and the rule of law, but to help prevent future public health emergencies.
According to the report, Asia has been the main destination of pangolin shipments and the illegal live reptile trade, among other illicitly trafficked flora and fauna, used in traditional medicine. Rosewood, protected under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Wild Animals and Plants (CITES), comprises over 40% of global CITES seizures; over 90% of global imports (over US$3 billion) were destined for East and South Asia. To combat these challenges, the report reinforces the need for stronger criminal justice systems focusing on improving legal frameworks and strengthening the judicial process.
The World Wildlife Crime Report is available at: https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/wildlife.html