World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2021
World Day Against Trafficking in Human Persons is marked by the United Nations on July 30th. This year’s theme is “Victims’ Voices Lead the Way”. Recognising trafficking survivors as experts in the field has been core to the work of Mercy Global Action for many years. Victim/Survivors can reflect on the experience and phenomenon of human trafficking in a way that no theoretical framework can. In preparation for the 30th July, we invite the Mercy World to utilize the numerous resources Mercy Global Action has produced over the years that have endeavoured to give voice to trafficking survivors.
Resources that focus on the ‘Voices of Victims’
Mercy Global Action at the United Nations in partnership with the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd prepared a campaign for the 2016 UN sponsored 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence. Our campaign, #16Days16Stories focused on the experience of formerly trafficked women and girls who give testimony to gender discrimination and marginalization from childhood into early adulthood. Their stories, told in their own words, highlight the many human rights violations and cumulative disadvantages in their life journeys. Through their stories, survivor advocates provide key insights into preventative measures to end human trafficking.
This guidebook produced by Mercy Global Action was born from extensive research which exposed how most survivors of human trafficking experience cumulative disadvantage and marginalization over their lifetime caused by multiple breaches in international human rights law. Parallel to this, there are many existing international human rights mechanisms available to address areas of vulnerability and assert rights.
Over a seven-year period, Angela Reed RSM and Marietta Latonio RSW worked with 40 Filipino women who had been trafficked for sexual exploitation in the Filipino province of Cebu. The women's stories, told in their own words, reveal the sinister and structural oppression of young women on which the sex trade thrives, overturning the popular and sensationalised vision of trafficking as involving kidnapping and chains. Rather than being subject to random acts of victimisation, the women in I Have a Voice reveal a slow process of victimisation beginning in early childhood, experiences that made them easy prey to traffickers. They go on to describe their experiences as trafficked women, and their hopes and dreams for a better life.
The US State Department estimates that between 300,000 and 400,000 women are trafficked in or from the Philippines each year. Eighty percent of these women are less than 18 years old. Poverty, corruption, and a lack of education opportunities all contribute to this appalling toll, where women can easily fall into a cycle of violence, substance abuse, and exploitation. Their stories often remain hidden, but a new book is trying to change that. I Have A Voice: Trafficking of Women in Their Own Words tells the stories of 40 trafficked women from the central province of Cebu.
Duration: 7min 59sec Broadcast: Tue 1 Sep 2015, 8:48am
Other Organisations and Human Trafficking Resources for 2021