April - May 2013
Tackling Human Trafficking
NGO's play a vital role in addressing trafficking in persons. On the prevention side, NGO's can work to raise awareness among vulnerable groups. We can protect survivors of human trafficking by setting up/running shelters and by helping victims to heal and reintegrate into society. Some NGO's, and various branches of the UN, such as the UNODC and the IOM, play a vital role in training anti-TIP police units, prosecutors, and judges to increase the number of prosecutions and convictions. NGO's must also work with their respective governments to build partnerships which are vital to create change.
Traffickers often prey on those looking for a better life. Programmes that keep children in school, provide scholarships, provide job training, create jobs, or provide livelihood support to families play a vital role in preventing trafficking.Collaboration between NGO's also helps to to achieve positive results, sharing knowledge and working together can be much more effective in rolling out big projects which means bigger impact. Many countries NGO's and government agencies are working together to create special hotlines for victims of trafficking and the role out of educational programmes on a national scale.
Trafficking victims are also exposed to many psychological stresses. They can experience total social exclusion and stigmatization so that reintegration into local communities can become extremely difficult and painful. Services need to be provided to trafficked victims upon their return.
Soroptimist International have been heavily involved in The Purple Teardrop Campaign. For more information please click on the link above. Here you can find out exactly what Soroptimists have been doing and what you can do in the global fight.
The twenty-second session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice will be held at the Vienna International Centre from the 22 April to the 26 April. A number of discussions will take place, on human trafficking, terrorism and combatting transnational organized crime and corruption. The meetings will look at the implementation and coordination of efforts by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Member States in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice, including an analysis of the implementation of international instruments in order to prevent and combat terrorism.
Violence against women and children are all high on the agenda of this year's UN Crime Commission
There is over 20 resolutions tabled, and many more topical side events, the 22nd Session of the Crime Commission is heavily focused on promoting action to protect wildlife, women and children and to support the victims of terrorism.
There are also side events closely examining violence and its victims. Events entitled "Femicide - Stop the Killing of Women and Girls" and "Criminal Waste: The Cost to Women", of which SI, will be involved with. Other topics covered include fisheries crime, the media's role in fighting corruption, crime statistics, illicit financial flows in the Horn of Africa, and others.
European Liaison Officer for SI at the UN, Roswitha Benesch, UN Representatives for SI in Vienna, Dora Vrdlovec and Martina Gredler, and President Elect Ann Garvie will all be in attendance. They will be reporting back their news during the conference and advising on us on best practice for our ongoing work.
CONNECT TO EDUCATE TO LEAD
As involved members of Soroptimist International we have all heard of human trafficking-often referred to as the modern day form of slavery. But it is not so long ago, possibly a decade, that many of us would never have heard the term. We all thought slavery had died out in the 19th century and as for it happening in “our own backyard “ -Well it doesn’t, does it?
All around the world clubs, as far apart as Chennai in India to Camino Real in California, our members are involved in condemning this appalling scourge of our times. Taking our lead from our representatives in the United Nations centres, we are working to stop this practice .This is something we can all get involved with.
Our three E model is the perfect way to try and change our world.
We can educate our communities, our police forces, our judicial systems and ourselves. Campaigns such as the soap and taxi campaigns are raising awareness. Plays that reach out into the community such as Body and Soul are being used. The 'be aware, beWARE' idea is a great campaign slogan. All these initiatives are showing that we care.
Empower-just as we did with the SIAM project where we helped young girls in Thailand into training and work so that they were not sold into slavery in Bangkok.
Live your dreams self-esteem workshop and Dreams and Decisions project where a young girl wrote “I didn’t know it was happening around us. I will talk to friends at college to make sure they know”
And then we enable, so we work with refuges, we help to reintegrate trafficked victims into society and we run campaigns such as “Every girl counts”.
We are already doing so much BUT we must go on. It affects all our societies. No one can now say “It doesn’t happen here”.
We as Soroptimists must say STOP the Trafficking and do all in our power to make that happen.
(Above Photo: SI clubs in Arizona (USA) ran a campaign to demand that Village Voice Media immediately & permanently remove ads for prostitution, closely implicated in sex trafficking, from Backpage.com).
Every two months, SI will focus on a particular issue or challenge affecting women and girls. If you are a Soroptimist, we hope provide an international point of connection for your existing work, or perhaps inspiration to take action on an international issue. For all audiences, we hope the information below will give you a flavour of SI’s ongoing work and focal areas. Check back throughout the two months as new information is posted regularly.
Please also visit the Monthly Focus Files on our Resources page to learn about issues from previous months, including topics such as criminal justice, sustainable consumption and production, forced sterilisation, and the importance of skilled birth attendants.
Click here for the latest edition of The Global Voice, the monthly update on SI programme work.
SI Advocacy Guidelines: The ins and outs of undertaking advocacy as a Soroptimist. A MUST READ before undertaking any advocacy!
Where We Stand Position Papers (Sept 2010): These position papers should guide your advocacy work and indeed all of the programme work you do, both in the identification of issues of concern and in presenting the Soroptimist position. They are updated regularly to reflect new evidence, new issues, and new ways of thinking.
Welcome to the on line world of Soroptimist International! This section will connect you to the global community of SI. For Soroptimists, log in to the club members section for more resources and use on line reporting to tell us about your projects!