Washington D.C., Jul 1, 2021 / 22:01 pm
The COVID-19 pandemic increased the number of people vulnerable to becoming victims of human trafficking, a report released Thursday by the US Department of State found.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters July 1 at the State Department that human trafficking is both “an affront to human dignity” and a destabilizing force to economies and societies, with an estimated 25 million victims worldwide.
“In many places, as governments diverted resources to try to control the pandemic and address its secondary impacts, human traffickers seized the opportunity to grow their operations,” Blinken said. “People who were pushed into dire economic circumstances by the pandemic became more vulnerable to exploitation. And as more people spent hours online for school and work, traffickers used the internet to groom and recruit potential victims.”
“The pandemic has had a real impact on this fight,” Blinken added.