Episode 147: The International Risks of Human Trafficking and People Smuggling with Roy McComb

A few weeks ago, we spoke to Nathan Paul Southern, who gave us a deep dive into the links transnational criminal organisations have to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Transnational crime is a topic so vast, it would be an injustice to only cover one aspect of it, given  its impact on international risk. Today, we are going to discuss a hugely pertinent issue, human trafficking and people smuggling. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, ‘Human trafficking is a global crime that trades in people and exploits them for profit. People of all genders, ages and backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world. Traffickers use violence, fraudulent employment agencies, and fake promises of education and job opportunities to trick, coerce and deceive their victims’ Victims of trafficking can be any age, any gender and from anywhere in the world. According to UNODC’s 2022 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons which is compiled using official figures from over 141 countries, female victims continue to be the primary targets. The Report shows that in 2020 42 percent of detected victims were women and 18 percent girls. For male victims, the Report shows that 23 per cent of detected victims were men and 17 per cent were boys. The Report shows that the share of children among detected trafficking victims has tripled while the share of boys has increased five times over the past 15 years. Globally, one in every three victims detected is a child. Girls are mainly trafficked for sexual exploitation, while boys are used for forced labour. The share of detected male victims has risen from around 10 per cent in 2003 to 40 per cent in 2020. 

To help us unpack this vast global issue, we are excited to be joined by Roy McComb. Roy is an experienced former law enforcement officer having held executive leadership roles as the Head of Organised Crime in Northern Ireland and a Deputy Director in the (UK) National Crime Agency, where he was the UK law enforcement lead for Modern Slavery/Human Trafficking, as well as Child Sexual Abuse. 

He now provides strategic advice on organized crime on a number of international projects, and is currently based in Mogadishu Somalia. 

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