World Trafficking Day

Message from António Vitorino, IOM Director General

Geneva — The images are unforgettable. Desperate families in sweltering shipping containers and rickety boats. Bodies washed up on shores and beaches following failed voyages. Human beings scarred and broken from years of abuse and exploitation.

Indeed, we are shattered by tales of violence and predation by those willing to exploit the desperate for their own personal gain. Our consciences are shaken with the realization that children are at risk of irreparable damage—even death—simply because their families are trying to improve their futures.    

But today—this day when we observe World Day Against Trafficking in Persons—is not a day to reflect on what we feel about migrants who are victims of trafficking.

Rather it is a warning that yet another year has passed in which we can remind ourselves that no matter how much good we can do, we still haven’t done enough. It is time to end the trafficking of men, women and children across the globe. 

IOM  works tirelessly with partners in government, civil society and the private sector to sweep away bad practices in international labor recruiting. We fight to declare the rights of migrants who cross borders to do those difficult jobs that go unfilled in many prosperous countries, and see that those rights are protected and defended. 

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