“More than 1.2 million minors are still being sexually exploited in the world every year… and between 2003 and 2007 the proportion of minors in human trafficking cases has risen from 15 to 22 percent,” said the report. Worth around 32 billion dollars a year, human trafficking is the third most lucrative illegal trade after weapons and drugs, UN experts say.
The report by ECPAT report said that half the money made from the global sex trade is made in industrialised nations. “Along with pimps and clients, passport counterfeiters, corrupt officials, transport workers, paedophiles and other sex tourists are also involved,” said ECPAT’s Astrid Winckler. Situated in the middle of Europe, Austria is a crossing point for many minors who are brought from eastern Europe or the Caucasus to work as prostitutes or escorts in private clubs to the West.
Zimbabwe has in the past been cited as a key route for illegal human trafficking including the trafficking of children through the busy Beitbridge post between the country and South Africa.