The United States says that the coronavirus pandemic has created an “ideal environment” for human trafficking to thrive, as governments divert resources to the health crisis and traffickers take advantage of vulnerable people.
The State Department’s “2021 Trafficking in Persons Report” downgrades several countries and upgrades others for their efforts to combat the scourge of human trafficking.
Releasing the annual report, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says nearly 25 million people worldwide are estimated to be victims of human trafficking.
“Many are compelled into commercial sex work,” Blinken says. “Many are forced to work in factories or fields or to join armed groups.”