A new study by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime shows that human trafficking is increasing in the world. But, in a bid for full equality, women are trafficking other women more, too.
The study by the UN shows that trafficking is worsening even as awareness in some countries is going up simply because few governments are doing that much about the traffickers.
The UNODC study said 40 percent of affected countries had not registered a single conviction, crucial to deterrence.
That's fully 62 of the 155 countries surveyed. In more than 50 countries, women represented the majority of traffickers. And, naturally, it's less about housework than sex work.
About 79 percent of human trafficking involved sex slavery while 18 percent covered forced or bonded labor, forced marriages and organ removal.
Although the UN has a Protocol to combat trafficking and change member states' laws to help them combat the problem, it hasn't been that effective yet.
UNODC said 63 percent of the countries covered by the report had enacted anti-trafficking laws since a special U.N. protocol against the crime took effect five years ago.
That means, of course, that 57 countries haven't even changed their laws yet to comply with the protocol went into effect, let alone stepped up enforcement.
While there are new initiatives in places like Britain to criminalize sex with a trafficked woman even if the purchaser is nominally unaware — much the way that being unaware of a girl's age is no affirmative defense to statutory rape— those initiatives are few and far between. Law enforcement, rightly, seemingly focuses much more on freeing women from their situations (when it focuses on them at all). But the fact that this in occurring more often today than even a decade ago, even in the United States, is just sickening. There has to be a better way than ratifying UN Protocols to step up international enforcement, cooperation and prosecution to not only help the women enslaved today, but those who might be tomorrow.