V. Global Transportation Patterns
Because human trafficking is driven by the rudimentary principles underscoring supply and demand, certain parts of the globe have been found to serve as sites of origin, transit, and destination for victims. UNODC (2006) has determined that there are several notable worldwide trafficking patterns or routes through which victims are transported and then sold. The continent of Africa, for instance, has been identified as a place of origin for victims of human trafficking, which means that victims are recruited or abducted from locations such as Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, and Morocco. They are then shipped across the world to locations where the demand for cheap labor or sexual services exists. Africa, however, is also a transit and destination country, meaning that although the countries listed above recruit many victims, they also serve as midpoint locations for traffickers whose distant and far-ranging transportation schemes necessitate a temporary rest stop as well as locations where victims finally learn their fate and are forced to labor against their will.
Asia also has been declared as a significant supplier of victims. Countries such as China and Thailand are considered core providers of trafficking victims as are countries such as Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. These countries, however, have also been identified as destination countries. Thus, Asia is a region of origin and a destination. Central and Southeastern Europe is predominately an origin subregion. Victims trafficked out of this subregion are sold to Western Europe. In particular, Albania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, and Romania are considered prime countries of origin, followed by the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, and Slovakia. On the other hand, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, and the Netherlands, all countries in Western Europe, serve as destination sites for victims trafficked from Central and South Eastern Europe. Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Mexico, are also regions of origin.
Although all of the above-mentioned countries in Africa, Asia, Central and Southeastern Europe, as well as South America, are both origin and destination sites, most trafficking victims are supplied by Belarus, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. These countries are rarely places of destination for victims.
These trafficking routes exemplify that countries that supply victims of human trafficking are generally those undergoing political and economic instability, while the countries that demand the sale of humans are those experiencing modest or considerable wealth and prosperity.