March 12th 2009
Taking part in the panel at the Launch
With Steve Chalke, the book's author
Meeting some of the young supporters
The prejudice which women face in many parts of the world, their lack of rights and control over their own lives helps create the conditions where trafficking can flourish. Cherie Blair
Trafficking, like poverty, discrimination and abuse of human rights, wears a women's face. Women and girls, of course, make up the overwhelming majority of victims trafficked for sex. But women and girls are also the majority, according to the International Labour Organisation, of those economically exploited in other ways, in sweatshops or as domestic servants.
It is the prejudice which women face in many parts of the world, their lack of rights and control over their own lives which helps create the conditions where trafficking can flourish. Cherie came to the monstrous scandal of human trafficking through her work as a barrister and is determined to do all she can to remove this devastating barrier blocking the progress of women.
While we must endeavor to reduce vulnerability by rooting out the prejudices and practices against women that create conditions where human trafficking can flourish, we can daily make choices that will reduce demand. We can all make a difference in our daily lives by the decisions we take about the purchases we make every day. Awareness is as the heart of the advocacy work of Stop the Traffik, a UK charity that campaigns to prevent the sale of people, prosecute the traffickers, and protect the victims.
Earlier this month, Cherie joined Doris Buddenberg of the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking (UN GIFT), Andy Baker of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), and founder and CEO of Stop the Traffik Steve Chalke to speak out against people trafficking, the fastest growing crime in the world today. It is estimated that a man, woman or child is trafficked at a rate of more than one a minute.
Cherie contributed a chapter in STOP THE TRAFFIK: People Shouldn't Be Bought and Sold due to be released in late March, focusing on the trafficking of women and the broader theme of women's rights. 'The heart of it is personal responsibility,' she said, 'and being willing to stand up and be counted. Our goal has to be that we can build a better world - for every man, woman and child'.
Steve Chalke, founder of STOP THE TRAFFIK and main author of this new book noted how since the organizations founding in 2006, their supporters around the world have proven that small actions, when undertaken on a wide scale, can make a big difference. Doris Buddenberg echoed that individual acts, taken collectively can make a huge impact, and insisted that partnerships should be added as the fourth "P" added to the 3 Ps strategy to combat human trafficking (prevention, protection, and prosecution). Andy Baker from the Serious Organised Crime Agency emphasised that a sense of personal and community responsibility is vital in the fight against human trafficking. 'It's all about choice', he stated, 'we must make the right choice for those who have no choice'.
To learn more about STOP THE TRAFFIK click here.