The UN Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) has issued Global Report on Trafficking in Persons pointing to a steady surge in human trafficking during the last 13 years which reached its highest point so far in 2016. The report has shown the trend of human trafficking. A disturbing fact is that ‘adult women’ account for 50 percent of the detected victims. Analysis of data shows that women and young girls have actually been 70 percent of detected victims of human trafficking over the last 15 years. In most cases, these women and girls are used as sex slaves in all parts of the world. It has been found in different research studies that these women die early as they contract contagious diseases. HIV/AIDS positive males, fully aware about their health status, deliberately ignore protections while subjecting trafficked women to abuse. Unlike any other trade, experience and maturity are big negatives in sex trade; hence, degeneration of health of female victims of human trafficking sets at an early age. Even if sold into this trade by family heads, these victims are not welcomed back in patriarchal communities. However, crossing borders and seas is not an easy job. Number of women seen on the boats sinking in cold waters or crashing on European shores is nominal. Only the strongest of men succeed in doing it. Recently, security officials cut two African males out of mattresses into which they were sewn in a bid to traffic them into Spain! The UNODC report has its limits. It does not incorporate field data as it mentions on its website: “The analysis is based on an extensive desk review of available literature, court cases from the international criminal courts and tribunals and expert interviews with United Nations peacekeeping personnel.” Field observations and documentation are key to research on such anthropological topics as human trafficking at global levels. Nonetheless, this report has directed attention of the world towards a subject that was slipping off discussion tables. The issue was brought to the center from the edges by members of the European Union (EU) throughout the last decade which witnessed major wars in the Middle East and Africa. After Iraq and Libya, Syria was consumed by an unending war. As a result of this war, communities took to seas to cross into Europe. But their boats were weak and they were barred from floating on international waters. Weather was harsh and merciless. They died in desserts and sea alike. To date, missions were set out to locate their remains. Alan Kurdi, 3, shook the global conscious in 2015 when his body was beached shores of Turkey and its photograph hit international media. His father, a Syrian, regretted saying that he lost trace of his son when their boat was capsized. World leaders got together at that time and agreed that they should open their doors for others. But it did not take long for them to be bewitched by the scourge of “othering” and then they did not only shut their own doors but also made sure that nobody is even able to reach them uninterrupted. Now the shores of Turkey and Libya are guarded more than ever and desserts of Africa are dotted with security check-posts, all set up through agreements with EU members, to make shore that weak boats of immigrants do not reach Italy or Spain. Male and female aspirants to seek refuge or fortune in Europe from Africa end up in slave camps in Libya. In addition to border security, weak boats and harsh weather, extremist elements kill ill-fated immigrants or enter Europe in the garb of refugees. One refugee terrorist caught in Europe means countless arguments to substantiate the populism that is prevailing in Europe against “others”. The UNODC report has brought all these issues back to discussion. * Published in Daily Times, January 10th 2019.