STOP THE TRAFFIK is delighted to report that last week’s International People’s Lecture was an enormous success! Waterloo’s charming Oasis Centre was packed to the brim with members of the STOP THE TRAFFIK family, practitioners in human trafficking, students and representatives of other advocacy networks. The fair trade fondue of freedom was flowing freely, and the evening was both informal and informative.
STOP THE TRAFFIK was honoured to host Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UN Office for Drugs and Crime, and Cherie Booth QC as the keynote speakers for the evening. Mr Costa’s address was both hard-hitting and humorous. He illuminated the responsibilities and the challenges of the United Nations in the three action areas relating to human trafficking: prevention of the crime, protection of the victims, prosecution of the traffickers. He laid bare the shocking lack of research and data on human trafficking. However, Mr Costa finished on an optimistic note. Thorough research is underway and the United Nations Tool Kit for Human Trafficking is ready for distribution. The United Nations is preparing to shift gear and address the horror of human trafficking head on.
Cherie Booth’s moving address stemmed from her experience as a human rights lawyer and as a prominent women’s issues activist. As the overwhelming majority of human trafficking victims are women, Ms Booth was instructive in particular as to how effective prevention measures may be undertaken. Cultural and attitudinal change may be required – especially amongst men and those who create demand for an illegal sex industry – but the necessity of education for girls and women around the world was her enduring message. Ms Booth discussed the incredible infancy of legislation – both within the UK and internationally – that deals with human trafficking. In the USA no legislation existed at all in this area before 2004.
The evening closed with a final motivating call to action from Steve Chalke, founder of STOP THE TRAFFIK. His message to us was clear: 1. Act 2. Recruit and 3. Give. Our task is not done, and we need to stand together to make a difference!
Last but not least, a big thank you to the Bishop Justice School Orchestra who performed fantastically for us at the beginning of the night. Videos of the keynote speeches and photos of the evening will be available for download at www.stopthetraffik.org shortly.