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Simon Coveney launches 'Stop the Traffik' campaign
Irish MEP Simon Coveney launched a global campaign called 'Stop the Traffik' at a lunch-time concert in the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday 21 March 2006.
Speaking in advance of the event, which featured music by Daniel Bedingfield, Simon Coveney said: "In the same way that the 'Make Poverty History' campaign successfully raised the issue of debt relief, fair trade and development aid, I hope that 'Stop the Traffik' will raise awareness about the trafficking in human beings and in particular forced child prostitution."
'Stop the Traffik' is a global coalition working together to help stop the sale of people, to prosecute traffickers and to protect the victims of human trafficking. 'Stop the Traffik' aims to raise awareness of the problem of human trafficking and to call for change through the education of people in both source and receiving countries as well as by equipping individuals to be advocates for change. The initiative will also encourage and help finance grassroots anti-trafficking projects around the world.
It is estimated that up to one million people are trafficked across borders throughout the world each year. Of that number, it is estimated that up to 100,000 women are trafficked into Europe every year to work in the sex industry. Reports suggest that an additional 40,000 women and girls could be trafficked into Germany this year alone and forced to work as prostitutes during the World Cup.
Simon Coveney said: "People should know that if they pay for sex the person they hire may have been trafficked or forced into prostitution. We must concentrate on reducing the demand for prostitutes and in doing so decrease the numbers of primarily young girls being trafficked into the sex industry."
"Human trafficking is a modern day form of slavery. It is the third largest source of income for international organised crime, after trafficking in drugs and arms," he said.
The MEP said raising awareness is a key factor. The campaign will include education and information packs for schools, colleges and youth groups which can be downloaded from the website www.stopthetraffik.org.
The 'Stop the Traffik' campaign culminated in 'Freedom Day' on 25 March 2007, a day to celebrate liberty and commit to bringing freedom to everyone across the world.
- Jonathan Faull, Director-General of Commission Directorate Justice Freedom and Security
- Edit Bauer MEP, Trafficking Rapporteur
- Christa Prets MEP, Former Trafficking Rapporteur
- Peter von Bethlenfalvy, International Organisation for Migration
- Steve Chalke, 'Stop the Traffik'