Washington D.C., Apr 29, 2020 / 13:49 pm
While much of the world's intelligence forces are focused on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, human trafficking victims are at risk of being overlooked, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) told a European security organization this week.
"Traffickers are not shut down-they haven't gone on a holiday," Smith warned in an April 27 webinar speech to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE-PA).
"Victims still need to be rescued. Survivors still need assistance. Vulnerable people likely will be made even more vulnerable by both the virus and the economic impact of the response to it," Smith said.
"And as a result, when things start to open back up, traffickers may have an easier time finding, deceiving, coercing and exploiting victims."