The number of human trafficking victims identified in the UK has more than doubled since 2010, according to a United Nations (UN) report.
There were 660 human trafficking victims identified in the UK in 2013, a 20% rise from 522 the previous year and more than twice the 297 identified in 2010, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said.
Among victims identified in the UK in 2013 were 135 children, compared to 130 girls and boys identified the previous year and 80 in 2010.
There were also 148 men and women convicted of human trafficking in England and Wales in 2013, a 43% rise from 103 the previous year and a more than three-fold increase from 43 in 2010.
The UNODC Global Report on Trafficking In Persons has identified 510 trafficking routes worldwide – that is flows connecting the origin country and destination country of at least five detected victims.
One in three known victims of human trafficking was a child in 2010 to 2013, the report claims, which is a 5% increase compared to the 2007-2010 period.
UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov said: “Unfortunately, the report shows there is no place in the world where children, women and men are safe from human trafficking.
“Official data reported to UNODC by national authorities represent only what has been detected. It is very clear that the scale of modern-day slavery is far worse.”
The number of cases of trafficking that reached a first hearing in a magistrate court in England and Wales surged to 860 in 2013 from 374 in the previous year and 136 cases in 2010, the report said.
Some 784 identified victims between 2010 and 2013 were trafficked for s exual e xploitation, while 875 were put in to forced labour. Two victims were trafficked for illegal organ harvesting.
There were 112 British victims of trafficking within the UK in the three year period, while 557 came from “other Central Europe”.