UNITED NATIONS -- The U.N. crime-fighting office said 2.4 million people across the globe are victims of human trafficking at any one time, and 80 percent of them are being used as sexual slaves.
Yuri Fedotov, the head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, told a daylong General Assembly meeting on trafficking Tuesday that two out of every three victims are women.
He said $32 billion is being earned every year by unscrupulous criminals running human trafficking networks.
Fedotov said fighting these criminals "is a challenge of extraordinary proportions."
Michelle Bachelet, who heads the new U.N. agency promoting women's rights and gender equality, said "it's difficult to think of a crime more hideous and shocking than human trafficking. Yet, it is one of the fastest growing and lucrative crimes." (AP)