APEC Transportation Ministers instructed the TPTWG to work on human trafficking in coordination with the ACTWG at the 2015 TMM9 meetings held in Cebu, The Philippines. While human trafficking is not often associated with the transportation sector, once understood, the link is clear and eye-opening. Human trafficking is a $150 billion illicit industry with over 20 million women, men, and children estimated to have been trafficked globally in 2015. Transportation networks, whether road, rail, maritime, or aviation, are the means by which these victims are trafficked. Consequently, it is critical that APEC Transportation Ministers and the APEC TPTWG address the human tragedy of human trafficking by working to ensure that transportation networks are not used to provide safe harbor for human traffickers. The TPTWG will also coordinate with the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Working Group (ACT) on fighting corruption related to human trafficking.
This self-funded project will seek to build capacity in volunteer APEC Economies to help the general public, transportation sector workers, and government transportation regulators better report possible incidents of human trafficking. The modern slavery of human trafficking has significant economic costs, such as the degradation of human capital and the stunting of communities’ economic development.