Human Trafficking Conviction Data Updated

This post is supplemental to a post published on 28th October 2022 Human Trafficking Cases – Prosecutions & Convictions Analysed by FCN. after publishing the data for the previous post, FCN has carried out further research to look more deeply at the HT conviction numbers and to control for population and threat. This provides a different prism to look through and produce KPIs and one that has more merit than simply looking at absolute numbers. Again the focus is to look at FATF member countries plus Indonesia and the UAE.

Human Trafficking Conviction Data – Updated to reflect Threats

Today, like every other day of the year an estimated 50 million people (6.4 out of 1,000 people) including 3.3 million children are enslaved in either sexual or other forced work or marriage (estimates from ILO/UNIOM/Walk Free 2021 – up from 40 million in 2016). Of these 6.7 million are victims of sexual exploitation with 1.7 million of these children and 4 out of 5 women and girls. 

Absolute prevalence rates are highest in low income countries but more than half of all human trafficking occurs in either upper middle income (32%) or higher income countries.

HT is a top 5 revenue generator for economic crime and a focus of increased risk regularly highlighted by FATF, whose member countries are home to exploitation of approx 17 million of these victims. 

Conviction rates for slavers are low and in some cases minimal.

FATF members (39 in all including observer Indonesia and UAE as GCC member), reported 1,800 convictions based on most recently available data (mainly 2021), with China, UK, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Indonesia, Greece, Belgium, India & Canada at 100 or more HT convictions.

Control for population size, and the top 10 are replaced by the Netherlands, Greece, Belgium, UK, Italy, Luxembourg, Iceland, Canada, Germany & Portugal. 

Control for the size of the threat (estimated number of victims of HT in the country) and the top 10 are, the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium, UK, NZ, Luxembourg, UAE, Italy, Germany & Norway.

Whilst more can be done by these countries as convictions even here are very low, questions need to be asked about the bottom 10 which are: Mexico, Malaysia, Turkey, Indonesia, Singapore, South Africa, Israel, India, Russia and worst of all Brazil. (See Note at end:)

Enforcement won’t solve this but it needs to represent a much bigger contribution to the overall effort and requires more public sector funding and specialism. Take the example of the USA. On December 27, 2022, President Biden signed the “Countering Human Trafficking Act of 2022,” which codifies and expands the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT). The bill “authorises US$14 million to carry out the Act and ensures that the CCHT is staffed with at least 45 employees to carry out the Department’s critical work to combat human trafficking. The CCHT leverages subject matter experts to drive criminal investigations of forced labor and sex trafficking, seeks improvements to the delivery of victim protections including through DHS policies and protocols, and increases victim identification through training and public awareness.”

This is a welcome development and especially today (11th January) as its also National US HT Awareness Day. 

What better day to ask these questions but not just in the USA, (where tackling HT is an announced federal priority but ranks only 23 of 39 countries, when the threat is included) and to expect better results going forward, including on enforcement. 

Human Trafficking Conviction Data/KPIs with Population & Threat Taken into Consideration

11th January, 2023                                                                                                                        Financial Crime News

Note: Denmark had zero convictions in 2021 so could have been placed at the bottom but has been excluded with no results and a small population and estimated HT population. South Korea is also excluded as it has no available data from the US TIP 2022.

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