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."