The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has released a research study on human trafficking and online crimes during recent days. According to study, human traffickers trick people with fake job offers and promises and exploit them for profit, while taking advantage of online technologies including social media and online dating platforms for every step of their criminal activities. According to details, the traffickers use personal information, family details and location of the people available at social media platforms for their exploitation and virtual sexual abuse and later sold those photos and videos on different platforms to customers worldwide for generating money without any additional cost. According to UNODC’s report, human Traffickers are using technology to profile, recruit, control and exploit their victims as well as using the Internet dark websites, to hide illegal materials and their real identities from investigators. Currently, internet facilities provide traffickers an easy access to a much larger group of potential targets because traditional physical and geographical limitations no longer exist on this virtual platform and criminals create fake websites for posting advertisements on legitimate employment portals and social media networking websites. The UNDOC further revealed that the unlawful earning from this highly profitable crime is also being laundered online through crypto currencies, which makes it easier for traffickers to receive, hide and move large amounts of money with less risk of detection by the LEAs.
In fact, the internet is a highly useful creation for the people of the present-day era while online websites provide an easy platform to carry out certain important jobs and make life easy and more comfortable, however criminal minds are using this beneficial creation for their hateful crimes. The traffickers easily trap the innocent people into their trap by luring them in greed of money or fame and use their weaknesses for fulfillment of their nefarious intentions. The detection of this transnational and transcontinental crime becomes more difficult for the law enforcement agencies due to use of the internet by the criminals. According to reports, organized human trafficking networks are operating under the garb of recruiting and travelling agencies particularly in third world countries whereas in developed Countries these criminal gangs use online dating platforms and other social media websites to entrap young men and women while enticing them for easy earning and geographical, ethnic, or racial online leisure clubs etc.
Presently, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has initiated a plan to combat this international crime against humanity through spreading awareness about the methodology of the criminals and bringing all nations of the world on a single platform. According to reports, UNODC is organizing a weeklong online conference of more than 100 countries in Vienna, Austria to discuss strategy to combat this transnational crime by gathering expertise and resources of the global community through an intergovernmental mechanism. According to experts, there is a deep link between human traffickers and online marketplace. According to a report of US Department of Justice, more than 80% of the sex trafficking prosecutions involved online advertising, because the online platforms do not verify their user’s identity and criminal elements take advantage of it for hiding their true identity. The UNO must constitute an intergovernmental forum to enhance cooperation, exchange of information and coordinated action of the global community to combat this universal crime in the world.