Apr03

Modern Day Slavery?

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Interactive Dialogue on “Fighting Human Trafficking: Partnership and Innovation to End Violence against Women and Girls”

Report by Devindree Pillay

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

 

Being a young woman, something deep inside of me stirred, when I first learned of human trafficking.  Especially considering that the majority of those trafficked are the most vulnerable members of society: children and women.  It’s actually referred to as “modern day slavery”.  Attending this session was an eye-opener for me, as the statistics from the various presentations were put forward, I just sat there, absorbing the information in a state of amazement.   I actually didn’t realize the gravity of this worldwide problem!

Some of the facts I picked up were:

  • Human trafficking is defined by the United Nations “Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children” (2000) as: “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.
  • Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry.
  • At any given time, an estimated 2.5 million people are trapped in this plight.
  • Every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims.
  • In 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted the Global Plan Of Action To Combat Trafficking In Persons, urging governments worldwide to take measures to combat this crime.

An especially moving presentation within the panel, was the sharing by Rani Hong, a survivor of child trafficking, who attained freedom and is now the co-founder of the Tronie Foundation, an organization that is exposing the cost of human slavery.  She spoken with determination and passion.

I was certainly glad to hear of the many high level counter-trafficking initiatives within most countries, however I left the session with this deep desire that every single young women and child that is possible prey to trafficking, somehow, discovers and explores their inner potential of power.   Apart from the external measures being implemented to protect them, this inner power can surely create a subtle armour of protection as well.

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