The UPAEP is celebrating their 100 years anniversary this year and it has been commemorated by many stamp issues from the UPAEP member countries. This year’s America-UPAEP issue is dedicated to supporting the fight against human trafficking, which is particularly severe in the case of children in America and women in Europe, who are brought from countries in Eastern Europe and Africa through deceit or coercion.
Trafficking or illegal trade of persons for unlawful purposes is a crime against humanity, having unfortunately become a global phenomenon, a form of 21st century slavery due to the very high number of victims (estimated at over four millions).
This crime against humanity has become a global problem that has gotten so large in scale, with more than 4 million individuals exploited, that it has become known as 21st century slavery. The trafficking business moves tens of billions of dollars per year worldwide, in addition to the more than 12.3 million people who are living in conditions similar to slavery, according to a denouncement from the International Labour Organisation. In Latin America more than two million children and adolescents suffer sexual, commercial or labour abuse, and even in the European Union there could be as many as 275,000 victims of human trafficking, according to United Nations estimates.
In 2000, the UN passed the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons in response to this type of crime. The protocol is one of three passed at the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, also known as the Palermo Convention. This legal instrument aims to facilitate convergence in the establishment of national criminal offences that support efficient international cooperation in investigating and prosecuting cases of human trafficking. The Protocol’s other objective is to protect and assist the victims of human trafficking with full respect for their human rights.