Photo: Kay Chernush for the U.S. State DepartmentSouth Asia

In South Asia, many states are origin, transit and destination countries for trafficking. Victims are sent to other countries in the region and to other parts of the world. Even more prevalent, however, is the movement of persons within a country. Even though there are no definite numbers of victims, it is estimated that 150,000 people are trafficked from the region annually. Many studies have revealed that trafficking in women and children is on the rise in Asia.

Trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation is the most virulent form of trafficking in the region. The movement of young girls from South Asian countries to brothels is common, taking place either between countries or within countries. There is further movement to the Middle East as well as other destinations. Internal displacement due to conflict in some countries, poverty and lack of employment opportunities increase the vulnerability to being trafficked.

South Asia is also home to one of the largest concentrations of people living with HIV/AIDS. Women involved in the sex business - as a group - are an important driver of the epidemic. Recent research involving repatriated women who worked at commercial sex markets in Nepal show that many of those who have been trafficked are at significantly higher risk of contracting HIV than are non-trafficked women.

What?    UN.GIFT regional event for South Asia

Where?  India

When?   10-11 October 2007

Who?     800 representatives from governments, the media, the film and arts industry, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and UN agencies from South Asia

Why?     To build awareness and foster partnerships to fight human trafficking, with a focus on trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation in South Asia

Regional meeting report (PDF)

East Asia and the Pacific

A publication by UNODC on trafficking patterns shows that trafficking in Asian victims to other countries within Asia, is frequently reported. In particular, South-East Asia is often reported to be an origin region for trafficking into Asian countries. 

Though trafficking in persons is not considered to be as imminent a threat to border integrity as migrant smuggling, several countries in the Pacific have acknowledged that people have been trafficked across their borders. There are also indications that the number of people trafficked from, to and through the region will increase and that the primary purpose will be for sexual exploitation.

What?    UN.GIFT regional event for East Asia and the Pacific

Where?  Thailand

When?   2-4 October 2007

Who?    Delegates from Australia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Palau, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Tonga and Viet Nam

Why?    To communicate recent developments and effective practices in the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of cases involving trafficking of persons, and to promote cooperation and common standards within and between countries

Report of the Chairperson: Ending Impunity and Securing Justice (PDF)