From gender issues to gender statistics on human trafficking: illustrative examples
||Sources of data
|Are women and girls overrepresented among victims of trafficking in persons? Are they more likely to be sexually exploited or subjected to forced labour?
||Identified victims of human trafficking by sex, age and type of exploitation.
||Administrative records, such as criminal justice records and service providers’ records.
|Are women or men more likely to be convicted for trafficking in persons?
||Offenders convicted for trafficking in persons by sex.
||Criminal justice records.
- + Gender issues
- Women and girls represent the majority of people trafficked for sexual exploitation or subjected to forced labour (UNODC, 2009). Human trafficking is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. The types of exploitation include forced prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour and services, slavery and similar practices, involuntary servitude and the removal of organs. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is the most common form of human trafficking and it primarily affects women and children. However, women are disproportionately demanded and trafficked not only for commercial sex but also for domestic service.
Women play an important role as perpetrators of human trafficking. Women tend to make up a larger share of persons convicted for human trafficking offences than for other forms of crime. In some countries, women represent more than half of persons convicted for trafficking persons.
- + Data needed
- Data used to analyse human trafficking from a gender perspective may refer to:
(a) Identified victims of human trafficking by sex, age and type of exploitation;
(b) Offenders convicted for trafficking in persons by sex.
- + Sources of data
- Data on human trafficking are usually provided by three types of administrative records:
(a) Criminal justice records are a source of data on victims and offenders of human trafficking that were part of investigations, arrests, prosecutions and convictions;
(b) Service providers’ records are a source of data on victims identified by public authorities and sheltered by service providers;
(c) Other administrative records may provide data on foreign victims returned to their countries.
- + Conceptual and measurement issues
- Several factors affect the adequacy of gender statistics on human trafficking. They are:
(a) Data available on human trafficking are usually incomplete and based on methodology that varies from one country to another;
(b) Some of the countries that have been able to provide some information on the number of victims or offenders are not yet able to provide basic information about victims and offenders, such as sex, age or citizenship;
(c) Data on human trafficking may be mingled with data referring to smuggling or irregular migrations, which may have a different gender pattern;
(d) Cases of men victims of human trafficking may be more likely to be underdetected, because they are more often trafficked for forced labour.