The United Nations (UN) has designated July 30 to be World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
Each year, around 4 million people fall victim to human trafficking rings around the world.
Men, women and children are forced, tricked or threatened by traffickers and sold into slavery, the sex trade or for organ transplants.
The factors that allow human trafficking organizations to thrive are corruption, impunity and poverty.
According to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission, the country is a major point of transit and destination for victims of trafficking. Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez are the cities most frequented by U.S. and European tourists looking to take advantage of the illegal trade, which in Mexico carries prison terms of 5 to 30 years.
Human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes, taking advantage of society’s most vulnerable, the young, the poor, and women.
“This first World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is a call to action to end this crime and give hope to the victims, who often live unrecognized among us,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.