Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People

If you haven’t yet signed the petition to Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People, you can do so by clicking here. This 3 year campaign, run jointly by The Body Shop and ECPAT, aims to bring an end to what Anita Roddick termed the 21st Century Slave Trade by increasing public awareness of the issue and to call on governments to take action by monitoring and publicising individual countries’ progress towards three strategic goals.

Here’s a summary of the campaign and here is the full Global reportTheir Protection is in our hands – The State of Global Child Trafficking for Sexual Purposes”.

UNICEF estimates that 1.2 million children are trafficked for sexual exploitation and is one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the world, and not just in the developing world as is commonly believed.

In addition to the petition demonstrating the public demand for change, progress cards have been produced for each of 41 countries to highlight what national governments need to focus on to halt child sex trafficking in the long term. The three goals are:

Goal 1 - PREVENTION – Community based prevention programmes to stop child trafficking are reaching at risk populations.

Goal 2 - PROTECTION – International Legal standards for protecting children from trafficking have been incorporated in the national legal framework.

Goal 3 - ASSISTANCE – Specialised government services for child victims of trafficking are integrated in national policies.

The progress cards provide the public with straightforward information and offer a uniform and clear means of monitoring government action. Also, they are specific to each nation. For example in the UK, we are calling on the government to introduce a system of guardianship for child victims, in Switzerland one request is for victims to be granted an unconditional right of residence and in Germany, one of the necessary actions is for a helpline to be set up to allow victims better access to assistance.

So please take some time to read about this campaign, sign the petition online and when you’re next near a Body Shop store show your support by creating a handprint as RPatz has done here!

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