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Human Trafficking and the 2022 INTERPOL Global Crime Trend Summary Report

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During the 90th INTERPOL General Assembly meeting, 18-21 Oct 2022, New Delhi, INTERPOL released its inaugural 2022 INTERPOL Global Crime Trend Summary Report, 12 pages, format: PDF, 1.37MB, languages: EN, FR, ES, AR. The Report leverages data from the organization’s 195-country membership to map out current and emerging threats worldwide which, due to their scope, volume, frequency, and/or harmful impact pose a significant threat to transnational security. The resulting analysis points to five broad crime areas, which dominate the global crime threat landscape. These crime trends include organized crime, illicit trafficking (highlighting drug trafficking, human trafficking and migrant smuggling), financial crime (noting money laundering, financial fraud, and corruption as a critical crime-enabler), cybercrime (particularly, ransomware, phishing, and online scams) and terrorism.

Key Findings

Organized Crime

• Organized crime was among the top ten crime trends most frequently perceived to pose a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ threat by all member countries.

• Organized crime groups and criminal networks appear to be as resourceful and resilient as ever, having proven their ability to rapidly adapt and seize new opportunities.

Illicit Trafficking

• The illicit production and distribution of synthetic drugs and cannabis trafficking were the drug-related offences most frequently perceived to pose a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ threat by member countries.

Human trafficking and migrant smuggling, which affect every region of the world, are likely the most pervasive global criminal markets.

• As geopolitical instability, climate change, and the post-pandemic recession continue to impact migration flows, demands for smuggling services are likely to increase, leaving many more at risk of falling victim to trafficking.

Financial Crime and Corruption

• Member countries most frequently indicated money laundering and financial fraud among financial crime trends as representing a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ threat.

• As rates of digitalization have rapidly accelerated, particularly during the pandemic, online social engineering for the purpose of financial fraud, victim manipulation and impersonation scams are increasing significantly.

• While complex to investigate, corruption is one of the most significant enablers of organized crimes in all regions of the world.


• Ransomware, phishing, online scams, and computer intrusion (i.e. hacking) are the cybercrime trends which member countries most frequently perceive as posing ‘high’ or ‘very high’ threats globally.

• Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCSEA) was ranked among the top ten crime trends perceived to pose a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ threat by member countries and 62 per cent of member countries strongly expected these crime to ‘increase’ or ‘significantly increase’ in the future.


• Jihadist terrorism continues to pose the greatest terrorist threat at the global level. Islamic State-affiliate groups continue gain influence and conduct attacks in sub-Saharan Africa.

• During the last decade politically-motivated, specifically extreme far-right terrorism, has increased 50 fold in North American, European and Asia-Pacific member countries.

• Terrorists are using more advanced technologies including drones, GPS systems and encrypted messaging services.

Regional Trends

Breaking down the results by five world regions, the Report shows that while some crime threats rank highly across all geographical zones, others differ according to regional and national factors.

Human trafficking and migrant smuggling were also crime trends which member countries in the African region frequently indicated as posing a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ threat, with high expectations of these crimes escalating in the future.

Human trafficking and migrant smuggling also represent pervasive criminal markets throughout the entire Americas and the Caribbean region.

Human trafficking and migrant smuggling both represent pervasive criminal markets throughout the Asia and Pacific region.

Human trafficking and migrant smuggling continue to represent serious concerns to countries in Europe, with expectations for these crime trends to increase in the next 3 to 5 years.

Human trafficking and migrant smuggling represent pervasive criminal markets across the region, with important flows of vulnerable persons through both North Africa and the Middle East on their way to Europe. The Gulf Countries are also an important destination for smuggled migrants and victims of trafficking.

Supporting Law Enforcement to Counter Global and Regional Crime Trends

Dismantling organized crime groups is also fundamental to impeding illicit trafficking flows. Crossborder operations, both regional and global, can be coordinated by INTERPOL, through which drugs, arms and human traffickers, among others, can be identified and apprehended. Member countries are strongly encouraged to call for and engage in INTERPOL-coordinated operations bringing together critical intelligence and resources to disrupt these crimes as well as rescue and repatriate victims of trafficking.

The full Report is restricted to law enforcement use. To request a copy, law enforcement officials should contact the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in their country.

INTERPOL Human Trafficking Webpage

The INTERPOL Human Trafficking webpage contains many useful resources, including The Issues, Activities (Types of human trafficking; Our role in fighting human trafficking; Operations to curb human trafficking; Partnerships against human trafficking; Project THB Balkans), Related News, etc.

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