About 2 mn people traded as slaves every year: report

By Xinhua

Luanda (Angola) : Some two million people, mainly children and women, are sold every year as slaves across the world for prostitution and forced labour, a report says.

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Joao Lourenco, deputy speaker of Angola’s national assembly, was quoted by the country’s official news agency Angop as saying that in addition to those sold as slaves, about 15 million people were subjected to conditions comparable to prostitution and forced labour.

Addressing the opening of the Third Conference of the Association of Prosecutors of Africa (APA) in the Angolan capital Luanda, Lourenco said that “criminal networks” recruit or kidnap the victims from countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe and take them to industrialised countries in Europe and North America and to the Middle East.

“We are in face of organised crime in which human beings are trafficked as if they were goods, which deprives our sons and daughters of freedom, education and free choice for living in their countries or abroad, the option for a profession, that is the right to a full life in society,” he said.

He suggested that the countries should act in a coordinated way, making human trafficking punishable by the strictest law and setting up an information sharing mechanism with Interpol and related international institutions.

Lourenco also called for effective steps against family violence the victims of which, again, are women and children.

“A society that is not capable of reducing or putting an end to family violence will be less prepared, motivated and capable of contributing for the international effort against human trafficking, forced prostitution, child labour and paedophilia,” he said.