Zero Human Trafficking Network

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Human Trafficking Around the World


What is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is a global crime that trades in people and exploits them for profit. People of all genders, ages and backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world. Traffickers use violence, fraudulent employment agencies, and fake promises of education and job opportunities to trick, coerce and deceive their victims. The organized networks or individuals behind this lucrative crime take advantage of people who are vulnerable, desperate or simply seeking a better life. Human trafficking is defined in the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol, which supplements the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, as "the recruitment, transport, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud or deception for the purpose of exploitation."

Human trafficking is a truly global phenomenon and a crime which affects nearly every part of the world, whether as a source, transit or destination country. According to the 2012 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, victims from at least 136 different nationalities were trafficked and detected in 118 different countries.

More than a decade after the adoption of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, most countries have criminalized most forms of human trafficking in their legislation. The 2012 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons shows that, of the 162 countries and territories concerned, only 9 do not have a specific legislation against trafficking in persons. However, the use of these laws to prosecute and convict traffickers remains limited and there is a great need to increase both the capacity and awareness of the law enforcement to better respond to trafficking. In the 2012 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, for instance, of the 132 countries covered, between 2007 and 2010, 16 per cent did not record a single conviction for trafficking offences and 23 per cent recorded only less then 10 convictions.

Who Are The Victims Of Human Trafficking?

Victims of trafficking can be any age, any gender and from anywhere in the world. According to UNODC’s 2020 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons which is compiled using official figures from over 148 countries, female victims continue to be the primary targets. The Report shows that in 2018 46 percent of detected victims were women and 19 percent girls. For male victims the Report shows that 20 per cent of detected victims were men and 15 per cent were boys. The Report shows that the share of children among detected trafficking victims has tripled while the share of boys has increased five times over the past 15 years. Globally, one in every three victims detected is a child. Girls are mainly trafficked for sexual exploitation, while boys are used for forced labour. The share of detected male victims has risen from around 10 per cent in 2003 to 20 per cent in 2018.

Why Are People Trafficked?

Traffickers target people who are marginalized or in difficult circumstances. Undocumented migrants and people who are in desperate need of employment are vulnerable, particularly to trafficking for forced labour. Victims may be forced or tricked into an exploitative situation which constitutes trafficking after the traffickers uses violence, deception or blackmail. Criminals trafficking children target victims from extremely poor households, dysfunctional families or those who are abandoned and have no parental care.

Profiles of traffickers and trafficking flows

According to the 2016 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, there are at least two broad categories of traffickers: first, those who are members of sophisticated criminal networks and, second, unsophisticated small-time local criminals operating in isolation from organized criminal groups. The former are commonly involved in other serious crimes, such as trafficking in drugs, arms and other illicit commodities, sponsoring terrorism and conflict, and bribery and corruption of State officials.

In some instances, traffickers are former victims of the crime, for whom exploitation has left them with few options. One typical example is that of child soldiers who, in adulthood, remain in armed militia and forcefully recruit others. A second example is of young women trafficked into prostitution who subsequently recruit other young women from their community in return for cash payments from which to reduce their debts to their traffickers (Source:

When trafficking in persons is transnational, the majority of victims are trafficked as they attempt to migrate from less wealthy or developed areas to wealthier regions and from rural to urban areas. Because victims are exploited by traffickers as they attempt to relocate to regions that are perceived to offer better opportunities, trafficking patterns tend to reflect migration patterns from poorer to more wealthy nations, as reflected in Figure 1.

Gambar 1: Arus utama perdagangan orang lintas wilayah, 2014-2017
Sumber: UNODC, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 2018, p.44

Human Trafficking in Indonesia

Human Trafficking, especially for women and children, is not a new issue in Indonesia, as well as for other countries around the world. Many have initiated the emergence of conventions as an effort by various countries to eliminate Human Trafficking and Human Smuggling, especially women and children across national borders for prostitution. As a comparison, Human Trafficking and Human Smuggling are crimes with the third largest profit value after Arms Smuggling and Drug Trafficking issue.

Indonesia adalah negara asal, transit, dan tujuan bagi perdagangan orang lintas-negara dan internal. Meskipun kasus tindak pidana perdagangan orang umumnya melibatkan perempuan dan anak-anak, perdagangan orang yang melibatkan laki-laki juga semakin diakui seperti yang terjadi pada warga negara Indonesia maupun warga negara asing di wilayah Indonesia dan luar negeri, seperti yang terlihat pada Gambar 2.

Gambar 2: Perdagangan Orang di Indonesia
Source: Koran Tempo

In response to the growing number of human trafficking (TPPO) cases, Indonesia issued Undang-Undang No. 21 Tahun 2007 concerning the Eradication of the Crime of Trafficking in Persons. This law is supported by the establishment of a Task Force for the Prevention and Handling of the Crime of Trafficking in Persons through the enactment of Peraturan Presiden No. 69 Tahun 2008.

Since 2018, Zero Human Trafficking Network (ZTN), has continuously strived to become an assembly for interfaith stakeholders, journalists, non-governmental organizations, universities and other civil society components to synergize and to coordinate in preventing and tackling human trafficking for a life free from human trafficking.