ROME — The COVID-19 outbreak, which originated in Wuhan and was turned into a pandemic by the Chinese Communist Party’s lack of transparency, has dramatically changed our world. In far too many places, people are dying, health care systems are overwhelmed, economies are at risk, and the future remains uncertain.
However, one global industry has been largely impervious to the COVID-19 health crisis – one that destroys families and communities, weakens the rule of law, and robs millions of their human dignity. That industry is human trafficking.
During this pandemic, while millions around the world have lost their livelihoods, human traffickers continue to prey upon the most vulnerable. They have capitalized on the chaos of the moment – exploiting communities and individuals already disproportionately vulnerable to poverty, exploitation, and abuse.
Many victims face escalating threats. Countless victims are being forced to live in quarantine with their traffickers, who in some