A Global Report on Trafficking in Persons launched Monday by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), identifies sexual exploitation as the most common form of human trafficking.
The victims of sexual exploitation are predominantly women and girl, the report said.
It noted that surprisingly, in 30% of the countries which provided information on the gender of traffickers, women make up the largest proportion of traffickers.
In some parts of the world, women trafficking women is the norm, the report disclosed.
It identified the second most common form of human trafficking as forced labour, but explained that this may be a misrepresentation because forced labour is less frequently detected and reported than trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Worldwide, almost 20% of all trafficking victims are children according to the UNODC document.
It noted that although trafficking seems to imply people moving across continents, most exploitation takes place close to home.
Data show intra-regional and domestic trafficking are the major forms of trafficking in persons, the report stated.
It was based on data gathered from 155 countries.
At the launch of the Report in New York, the Executive Director of UNODC, Antonio Maria Costa said that many governments are still in denial.
“There is even neglect when it comes to either reporting on, or prosecuting cases of human trafficking,” he observed.