Today, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched the Blue Heart campaign against human trafficking at the Women’s World Awards in Vienna.
“There is a lot of ignorance about modern slavery,” said Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the UNODC. “There is also a lot of good to fight it. The blue heart will raise awareness about a crime that shames us all. It shows solidarity with the victims.”
Each year, millions of victims are enslaved and exploited worldwide and no country is immune. According to the UNODC’s Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 79% of victims endure sexual exploitation while 18% suffer through forced labor. Often times, criminals target those living in poverty, but sexism also plays a role.
At the Women’s World Congress, which took place in Vienna yesterday, Costa described human trafficking as “the worst kind of violence against women, made even more repulsive by the fact that people make money from it.” The campaign launch comes three days before International Women’s Day.
For more info on the Blue Heart campaign, visit unodc.org.