BANGKOK – Human trafficking in Asia generates around $2 billion a year for criminal groups and is the cause of many deaths and abuses, according to a U.N. report released Tuesday.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, said in a statement that their analysis of migrant trafficking in 28 countries from the Middle East to the Pacific, shows criminal groups charge as much as $50,000 to illegally traffic an individual.
According to the report ‘Trafficking in Migrants in Asia: Trends and Challenges’, many people who yearn for a better life in countries like Australia, Canada or United States, end up the victims of human traffickers.
South-east Asia serves as both a destination and an important transit hub.
“The movement of people across borders in Asia is expected to grow quickly and to unprecedented levels, partly due to new infrastructures and the opening of the borders,” said Jeremy Douglas, UNODC Representative for East Asia and the Pacific.
“In addition, the production of fraudulent documents is widespread,” said Douglas.
The report recommends improving databases and strengthening measures and laws to fight traffickers and defend their victims.
Hundreds of victims of trafficking, fleeing persecution in Myanmar, or trying to reach Australia, have perished after setting sail on South-east Asian waters in small, crowded, unsafe fishing vessels.