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COVID-19 cut known human trafficking, but Ukraine war a risk: U.N.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the first drop in the known number of human-trafficking victims in 20 years as trafficking opportunities and policing were reduced, but the Ukraine war has probably now caused a new surge, a U.N. report said on Tuesday. The number of detected trafficking victims fell 11% in 2020, the most recent year for which data is available in most countries, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in its seventh Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. “In 2020, for the first time, the number of victims detected globally decreased,” the UNODC said in a summary of the report, adding that the biggest drops were reported in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in south and central America but also sub-Saharan Africa, east Asia and the Pacific region.