|Cultures of exploitation|
|The shaping of policy at UNODC (2002-2010)|
Posted: 22 February 2008
I was buoyed by the institutional impact, awareness building and policy pledges made in last week's Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking, all of which went beyond my expectations. Nevertheless, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and we will never end human trafficking until we change the way women are portrayed. I do not like to see women in burkas, nor do I appreciate seeing half-naked girls featured in provocative fashion ads, both of which may be a form of female exploitation.
The way that women are depicted in many societies today creates vulnerability towards the crime of human trafficking, be it for sexual exploitation or forced labour. Its manifestations are everywhere; in advertising, on television, in song lyrics and in a host of other expressions of popular - and not so popular - culture.
This phenomenon is preying on women in particular. The abusers feel they have the moral right to go ahead and exploit vulnerable women and girls just to cut costs and pocket a profit. I am pointing my finger also at rich countries, not just the gender disparities we see in many developing countries.
My criticism is not aimed at one single country, I am criticising all countries and urge Governments to openly recognize that we are all part of this crime that shames us all.
Human trafficking is a crime significantly more challenging to combat than drug trafficking, due to lack of information and political will. The benign neglect many nations still display towards trafficking in human beings must be rectified. Governments need to recognize the human horrors behind trafficking, and stop hiding behind a "no, this is not happening in our country" attitude.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 20 January 2011 11:06|
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|Aceh: Paradise Rediscovered|
Posted: 1 February 2013
Can you think of a region so poor that income is less than one dollar a day per person: that has gone through a war against the central government for 30 years (1975-2005); that in 2004 was submerged by a tidal wave (the tsunami) that killed 170,000 people out of a total population of 3 million (in other words 1 person out of every 20); that was later submerged by an avalanche of assistance personnel that pushed local prices beyond what locals could afford?
Well, let me help you.
The Aceh peninsula of Northern Indonesia, along the strategic Malacca Straits, is where I went on mission yesterday, with a delicate task: to determine the extent of drug production (cannabis cultivation); trafficking (hashish and methamphetamine); the associated crime and violence; the health impact (including the spread of HIV because of drug-injection); and, above what can be done to put an end to all this through development.
|Media can Start a Consumer Revolt against Human Trafficking Forum on the role of the news media in exposing human trafficking|
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would love to say that it is my pleasure to take part in this panel. Actually, this’ not true: it saddens me, well into the 21st century, to take part in a panel discussion on modern-form of slavery: a crime that shames us all now as much as it did centuries ago..