Human trafficking is a global problem and one of the world's most shameful crimes, affecting the lives of millions of people around the world and robbing them of their dignity.
The Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking works to raise awareness of the plight of victims and to build political support to fight the criminals behind trafficking. The Blue Heart Campaign, adopted by several countries all over the world, seeks to encourage involvement and inspire action to combat human trafficking.
Brazil joined the Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking in May 2013, with singer Ivete Sangalo appointed as a national UNODC Goodwill Ambassador and face of the campaign. The campaign aims to mobilize Brazilian society against this crime.
Campanha Coração Azul (Brazilian Blue Heart Campaign website)
UNODC Liaison and Partnership Office (LPO) in Brazil
On 29 September 2011 Colombia joined the Blue Heart Campaign with the signature of a "letter of intent" between UNODC and one of Colombia's biggest broadcasting corporations, Caracol. This corporate social responsibility agreement will heighten awareness of human trafficking among a wider audience, especially vulnerable groups such as displaced people and young women.
UNODC Regional Office in Colombia
High-level representatives of the Government of Lebanon led government officials, local non-governmental organizations, media and UNODC staff in the official launch of the Blue Heart Campaign in Beirut on 20 December 2011.
UNODC Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa
Tasked with the development of campaigns to prevent trafficking in persons, the Inter-secretariat Commission to Prevent and Prosecute Trafficking in Persons, unanimously approved on 16 July 2009 UNODC proposal to launch the Blue Heart Campaign in Mexico, as the first country in Latin America to take the lead in this global movement.
Campaña Corazon Azul (Mexican Blue Heart Campaign website)
UNODC's Mexico and Central America Regional Office
In October 2012 the Government of Nigeria, jointly with UNODC and the European Union, has launched a nationwide three-year anti-human trafficking campaign. Entitled "I am Priceless", the campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the reality, dangers and possible impact of irregular migration, as a consequence of either being smuggled or being a victim of trafficking in persons. The "I am Priceless" campaign also supports the Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking.
Peru launched the Blue Heart Campaign in September 2014. During the announcement, the Peruvian Minister for Women and Vulnerable Populations Carmen Omonte said her country would create three specialized Prosecutor offices to deal with this crime.
According to the Attorney General's office, more than 1,500 human trafficking cases were filed with the Peruvian authorities from 2007 to 2013. Teens between 13-17 are the most vulnerable, making 55 per cent of reported cases. Women represent 85 per cent of the victims, with 54 per cent lured by false job offers. According to the Prosecutor's office, half of these cases were for sexual exploitation.
In April 2012 Portugal joined the Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking. At any given time, an estimated 140,000 victims of human trafficking are trapped in a vicious cycle of violence, abuse and degradation across Europe. UNODC research shows that victims are often duped by a recruiter who is a relative, a supposed friend or someone they trust.
The Republic of Serbia joined the Blue Heart Campaign in 2011 with the production and distribution of the film Sestre ( The Sisters), an effort in support of the Blue Heart to prevent trafficking in human beings.
In June 2010 Spain joined the Blue Heart Campaign as the first European country, just as a new UNODC report shows that trafficking in persons is one of the most lucrative illicit businesses in Europe. According to the report, criminal groups are making around €2.5 billion per year through sexual exploitation and forced labour.
In a conference organized by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in October 2012, the country renewed its commitment to the fight against human trafficking and joined the Blue Heart. As a destination country for traffickers, Switzerland is also affected by this global phenomenon.