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Soroptimist International(SI), as an NGO that straddles all the continents and is present in 127 countries makes its position on global issues known through statements -Where We Stand. Such statements meant to clarify are also very active in ensuring that SI’s voice is heard at the UN centres. At a recent management meeting of Soroptimist International directors among other focal points was the approval of a new document on Human Trafficking.
This time the statement on Human Trafficking has been reworked which prompts one to revisit the subject of human trafficking. It may seem writing and speaking ad nauseam of this. NO. The exponential growth of the ugly menace begs repetition, demands reinforcement of its awareness. Underlining it is never enough.
We are told that 80% of the mind-boggling number of people trafficked across international borders annually are female. History is witness to the fact that in every country in the world women and girls face additional discriminatory obstacles because of their gender. This is the 21st century and for the first time in history members states at the United Nations have agreed on a common agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals and for the first time, gender has a pivotal place(SDG5).
*End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
*Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
For the first time too, the UN and signatories to the SDGs have agreed on a date – the 2030 Agenda, where it is hoped that all targets of the 17 SDGs will be met.
However, the ground reality in the last year shows the ride to 2030 has halted to a grind. To cite one region-European analyst of the situation state, “the migrant crisis has increased the risk of slavery incidents across Europe. The presence of these vulnerable migrant populations who have arrived by sea is a key contributor for increase in slavery across multiple sectors in the region, such as agriculture, construction and services.
For an International NGO and in its advocating role Soroptimist International strongly supports and will advocate for on behalf of victims and survivors of human trafficking. The document further states
SI will work with all relevant actors to make States more accountable for identifying human trafficking, and prosecuting perpetrators. Besides it will work with NGOs and civil society agencies to advocate protection of victims and aid in the rehabilitation of survivors.
Most importantly SI will work to educate the public to understand that human trafficking exists everywhere and to recognise its signs.
Assistant Programme Director
Violence and Conflict Resolution