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5 DAILY ACTIONS WE CAN DO AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING

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Did you know that most of the victims of human trafficking are moved by their captors by land, and through the public transport system in plain sight? Or that sex ads on the street often belong to brothels in which women are deprived of their freedom? To gain access to useful information regarding human trafficking is a way to raise awareness on the relevance of being alert to our environment, and learn about the means and participation channels to fight this crime. That is why, on the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, we’d like to share 5 daily actions that we can carry out to help, from our place, to combat human trafficking in all its forms.

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Recently the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the “50 for Freedom” campaign in order to achieve that at least 50 countries ratify the Protocol on Forced Labour (the work which people are forced to do against their will and under duress, which often occurs as a result of human trafficking), an instrument for governments to take measures to combat modern slavery in all its forms by 2018. Signatures in support of the Campaign are received in 50forfreedom.org/es

The International Labour Organization (ILO) defines human trafficking as the situation which involves the recruitment or movement of people “by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion […] for the purpose of exploitation.” An exploitation which consists of “the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, or the removal of organs.” The Report on Facts and Figures about Forced Labour and Human Trafficking (ILO/2014) states that almost 21 million people are victims of forced labour, of which 4.5 million are victims of forced sexual exploitation.

Even though the existence of legal instruments which commit States to implement policies to prevent and fight human trafficking are essential when dealing with this crime, the dissemination of information on this issue is also crucial to generate the necessary interest from citizens and combat the indifference to such situations, which most of the times go unnoticed to the public.

That is why today we’d like to share with you 5 daily actions we can carry out against human trafficking:

1.LOOK AROUND YOU

ni-una-menos
This picture was taken in Buenos Aires and it’s an example of how to intervene public space aimed at promoting sex offers, and changing the meaning of that daily situation. Melina Trlik / Facebook

Knowing how to observe the daily environment is the first step: denaturalizing the “normality” of the presence of sex offering ads on the streets, removing them and throwing them away. Furthermore, in some countries there is a ban on publishing sex ads in the media. In Argentina, you can denounce this to the Office of Supervision of Sex Trade Publications to establish the proper sanctions.

2.YOU’RE MOVED, WE’RE ALL MOVED

carlos-quiroga-noticias_OK
The kidnapping of María de los Ángeles Verón (photo), known as Marita Verón, a young argentine girl taken when she was 23, became the landmark case of human trafficking and forced prostitution. In 2012 the Second Chamber of the Criminal Court of Tucumán delivered a verdict by which the 13 defendants were acquitted, prompting a widespread social rejection. In 2013, the case reached the Supreme Court of Tucumán, which overturned the absolution and sentenced all the defendants. The young woman remains missing.  Wikipedia / Photo Carlos Quiroga Noticias.

We often find news about the creation of observatories and digital platforms such as Ramoncastilla or María de los Ángeles Foundation (to honor the memory of Marita Verón), which are aimed to inform and raise awareness in the public about human trafficking, using tools and resources that might help other people, both victims’ relatives or citizens living in neighborhoods with human trafficking rings who need to be encouraged to file a police report.

3.SPREAD THE WORD

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univision

If it comes to you the story or testimony of someone who has been a victim of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual or labour exploitation, be sure to share their story with your friends or acquaintances. Helping to spread the voice of the victims should be a commitment of all.

4.RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION

A pair of pants lies in the rubble three days after a Bangladeshi garment eight-storey building collapsed in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, on April 27, 2013. Police arrested two textile bosses over a Bangladeshi factory disaster as the death toll climbed to 332 and distraught relatives lashed out at rescuers trying to detect signs of life. AFP PHOTO/ Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

While human trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation is one of the most widespread forms (ILO estimates that this is the case for 43% of the victims), there are also other sectors such as domestic work, agriculture, construction, and textile manufacturing that incorporate human trafficking in their productive chains. While this is an issue that may be more difficult to identify, being aware of information regarding companies linked to labour exploitation and human trafficking in sweatshops can be a fact to consider when defining what or where to buy.

5.DENOUNCE

ministerio de justicia y derechos humanos_OK
Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of the Nation.

If you think you are in the presence of a possible human trafficking situation, contact with the relevant authorities. In Argentina, you can call the 145 hotline to receive information and make reports anonymously.

Construir TV wants to join in the commemoration of this date, which is why during the “Construir Cine Specials Series” of August we will premiere the documentaries “New Girls 24/7” and “Not My Life”, two productions that, while using different approaches and narratives, suggest paths to reflect upon the business of trafficking in women for sexual exploitation, forced child labour, government policies, and the role of supply and demand. The whole programming is available at http://construirtv.com/

*Headline Picture: Semnele Timpului

By Cecilia González

Por Agustín Calcagno

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