Home > Global report on trafficking in persons 2022.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2023) Global report on trafficking in persons 2022. New York: United Nations.

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The number of victims detected globally fell by 11 per cent in 2020 from the previous year, driven by fewer detections in low- and medium-income countries. The pandemic, in addition to reducing opportunities for traffickers to operate, may have weakened law enforcement capacities to detect victims. 

The seventh UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons covers 141 countries and provides an overview of patterns and flows of trafficking in persons at global, regional and national levels, based on trafficking cases detected between 2017 and 2021. The findings are further informed by analysis of 800 court case summaries and accompanied by detailed suggestions to policy makers to help formulate effective responses.

The share of detected victims trafficked to be exploited for forced criminal activity has been increasing, too – what was one per cent in 2016 and six per cent in 2018 was 10 per cent of the total detected victims in 2020. Between 2017 and 2020, this form of exploitation was reported by countries in almost every region: in Western Europe, in South-Eastern Europe, in Eastern Europe, in South Asia and North Africa and the Middle East. Cases were also reported in East Asia and the Pacific, as well as Central and North AmericaThe case summaries analysed by UNODC involving trafficking for forced criminality included shoplifting, pickpocketing and other theft of cars, petrol or jewellery, as well as drug trafficking and fraud in different forms.

PDF p.84. Overall, the number of convictions recorded globally has declined by about 44 per cent since 2017. This drop in convictions for trafficking in persons, though, seems to be part of a broader phenomenon in all criminal justice efforts. Convictions for homicide and drug trafficking seem to follow the same trends (see report figure 42, p.85).

P.87. According to UNODC research, the proportion of women sentenced for drug-related offences is higher than that of men.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, International, Report
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
Harm reduction, Crime prevention
January 2023
186 p.
United Nations
Corporate Creators
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Place of Publication
New York
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