FEDERATION PRESIDENT MAUREEN MAGUIRE’S SPEECH AT TRAFFICKING RALLY – FRIDAY 26 OCTOBER 2012
Human trafficking is a crime against humanity. Modern day slavery includes the procurement of men, women and children for the purposes of domestic slavery, sexual exploitation, bonded labour and others. At any given time 2½ million people are being trafficked. 80% of which are exploited for sexual slavery.
Women are the most frequent victims. Victims are subjected to gross human rights violations, including rape, torture, forced abortions, starvation and threats of bringing harm to the victim’s family members.
Nearly every country in the world is involved in this insidious activity either as a country of origin, transit or destination.
It is also a very lucrative business making billions for its perpetrators, who often run very sophisticated networks. Poverty feeds trafficking. Women victims are often recruited by deceptive means through false advertisements for domestic workers, waitresses and other low skilled work.
Victims are more often than not treated as criminals by authorities. Lack of knowledge of legal rights, speaking the country’s language and other obstacles isolate trafficked women and girls and prevent them from seeking and receiving help.
There is no easy solution. High Commissioner Mary Robinson has stated that combatting trafficking will require holistic, interdisciplinary and long term approaches which address each aspect of the trafficking cycle.
UN Secretary General Bank ki-Moon has said that these crimes need to be made unprofitable and untenable.