Trafficking is a global problem
Trafficking sometimes happens within national borders, and vulnerable people can be trafficked in their own homes and communities. However most trafficking flows are inter-regional. When people are trafficked across borders they are harder to find and it is more difficult for them to return home.
Human trafficking can occur in any country in the world – even in Australia. Most countries are involved in human trafficking to some extent, either as a place of recruitment, transit or destination for trafficked individuals. It is estimated that most trafficking cases occur in Asia, particularly across the Greater Mekong region of Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Human trafficking is considered the second largest source of illegal income, behind the illegal drug trade. It’s an estimated US$150 billion industry, with almost a third of profits generated in wealthy industrialised countries like Australia.
Trafficking is a relatively high profit, low-risk crime. Across the world, very few offenders are convicted for trafficking. This is partly due to different perpetrators involved at different times; difficulties in law enforcement correctly identifying survivors and perpetrators, and the fear of reporting felt by survivors.