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Victims of human trafficking suffer human right violations at all stages of the trafficking process. Poverty is usually identified as the root cause of trafficking.
However, poverty does not exist on its own. Economic and social vulnerability is often caused or worsened by violations committed by certain groups. Throughout the region, women and girls, in particular, are affected by discrimination. Discrimination in the access to education, training and formal labour market causes them to receive lower wages than men and suffer disproportionably from unemployment.
Women and children are often victims of violence at their homes and at their workplaces, and are increasingly affected by the consequences of HIV and AIDS. Certain accepted cultural practices may also violate women and children’s human rights, especially when it comes to forced or early marriages. All these factors contribute to the decision to migrate in search of a better life and consequently make women and children vulnerable to being trafficked.