Report Finds that Sex Buyer Laws Reduce Demand for Prostitution and ...Read More
STOP TRAFFICK! EZINE!
Welcome to the Fourth EZINE for the STOP TRAFFICK! Project
Here you can follow the project’s progress out, check out our activities so far and find out what to expect in the coming months.
Make sure to check our website for more updates!
What is the STOP TRAFFICK! Project?
STOP Traffick! is a transnational project on reduction of demand for the sexual services of victims of human trafficking and is funded by the European Commission under the Prevention of and Fight Against Crime Programme. The project will explore attitudes of people who buy sex and their views of human trafficking; this will inform awareness raising initiatives targeting buyers or potential buyers of sex in order to prevent them from purchasing victims of sex trafficking. It will also develop new ways to report suspicion that someone is a victim of trafficking in order to assist that person in accessing support. Ultimately the project aims to help reduce the demand for victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation and provide protection and support for victims of this heinous crime.
Who are we?
The Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) is an organisation where migrant and Irish people work together to provide information, support and legal advice to immigrants and their families. The ICI is very active in lobbying for legislative and policy reforms and has contributed to some very significant reforms, as well as to attitudinal change and improved understanding of issues facing migrants in Ireland.
Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation works since its inception in 1998 on research, awareness raising, education, monitoring and proposing legislation and policy in the field of gender equality and protection of women against violence in all its forms – domestic violence, trafficking in women, sexual harassment at the workplace, etc.
Klaipeda Social and Psychological Services Centre’s (Lithuania) vision is to have women, children, and families socially and psychologically safe in a spiritually harmonious society. We work in cooperation with National and international NGO’s, along with the Department of Social Support at Klaipeda Municipality.
Monika – Multicultural Women’s Association, Finland operates as the umbrella organization for several associations for women of ethnic minorities. We support efforts to enhance cultural tolerance and promote a safe everyday life for everyone. We support the well-being of migrant women in different forms. We encourage migrant women to participate actively in social issues and we provide services and guidance to victims of domestic violence.
The Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies, Cyprus (MIGS) is a non-profit organisation which promotes and contributes to projects of social, political, and economic themes relating to gender with an emphasis on the Mediterranean region. It is committed to the elimination of this discrimination using a combination of research, advocacy and lobbying, as well as trainings, conferences, and other activities.
What have we accomplished recently?
Transnational Stop Traffick Conference launches Research Report in Dublin
On the 27th of March 2014 the Stop Traffick! Research Report was launched at a Transnational Conference held at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin, Ireland. The Conference was hosted by lead partners the Immigrant Council of Ireland, and heard from project partners, international experts on trafficking for sexual exploitation, and Irish and EU stakeholders.
The event was chaired by CEO of the Immigrant Council Denise Charlton, and was opened by the Immigrant Council’s founding board member Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy, followed by Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence Deputy David Stanton. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström addressed the conference via video message, and stated very clearly that “sexual exploitation is present only because there is a demand for it.”
From left: CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland Denise Charlton, with Senior Advisor to the Finnish Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons Venla Roth, Immigrant Council Founder Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy and Nusha Yonkova, Anti-Trafficking Coordinator at the Immigrant Council.
The Conference launched the ground-breaking research conducted during the Stop Traffick! Initiative on the attitudes and characteristics of buyers of sex, with Nusha Yonkova the Anti-Trafficking Coordinator at the Immigrant Council presenting the results and recommendations of the report. Expert academics spoke on the subject including Dr. Ursula Barry, Dr. Monica O’Connor and Professor Rodger Matthews, and Venla Roth, Senior Advisor to the Finnish National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons.
The afternoon session opened with a discussion panel of the Stop Traffick! Partners, chaired by Grégoire Théry of Mouvement du Nid. Diana Videva from the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation, Dr. Dalia Puidokiene from Klaipeda Psychological and Social Services Centre Lithuania, Pirjo Sohlo from MONIKA Multicultural Women’s Association of Finland, andAnna Zobnina of the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies were on the panel, which focused on reducing demand for sexual services of victims of trafficking within both the national and international context. The final session was a panel discussion on the experiences of women engaged in the sex industry and their views on buyers of sex. It was opened by Rachel Moran, survivor of prostitution, author and activist, and also heard from Karen McHugh, CEO of Doras Luimní, Sarah Benson, CEO of Ruhama, and Hilkka Becker, Senior Solicitor at the Immigrant Council. Pierrette Pape, acting coordinator of the European Women’s Lobby, chaired the final session.
Chairman of the Immigrant Council John Cunningham giving the closing remarks at the Stop Trafficking Conference. On the panel to his left are Hilkka Becker, Senior Solicitor at the Immigrant Council, Sarah Benson CEO of Ruhama, Karen McHugh CEO of Doras Luimní, Rachel Moran survivor of prostitution, author and activist and (Chair) Pierrette Pape, Coordinator of the European Women’s Lobby.
Briefing on Stop Traffick! Research Report at European Parliament Buildings, Brussels
On the 2nd of April 2014 Stop Traffick! Partners met at the European Parliament in Brussels to brief MEPs and NGO officials on the findings from the Stop Traffick! Research Report, which was launched the previous week in Dublin.
The meeting was opened by MEP Mikael Gustafsson, Chair of the FEMM Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, and was chaired by Denise Charlton, CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland. Nusha Yonkova and Edward Keegan of the Immigrant Council presented the research report’s findings and recommendations, and Pirjo Sohlo from MONIKA Finland, Dalia Puidokiene from Klaipeda Social and Psychological Services Centre in Lithuania, and Genoveva Ticheva of the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation, presented on the findings of their own countries. EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator Myria Vassiliadou closed the meeting with a strong presentation on the EU’s efforts to combat human trafficking.
Above from Left: Political Advisor Malin Björk , EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator Myria Vassiliadou, MEP Mikael Gustafsson, CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland Denise Charlton and Edward Keegan, Researcher with the Immigrant Council.
On the 19th and 20th of June Klaipeda Social and Psychological Support Centre in Lithuania will host an international conference as part of the Stop Traffick! Initiative on “Deconstructing the Demand for Sexual Services: Prevention of Exploitation through Prostitution and Sex Trafficking”. It is being organised in collaboration with member of the Lithuanian Parliament Ms. V. V. Margevičienė. The conference will discuss the demand for sexual services, explore ways of decreasing prostitution and examine practices to help victims of sex trafficking, while raising awareness about these issues in Lithuania. Prostitution is illegal in Lithuania, however, only a very small percentage of people using sexual services are penalized.
The latest research from the Stop Traffick! Initiative shows that in Lithuania individuals under 25 years old are most interested in purchasing sexual services. It is vital to communicate the importance of penalizing the purchase of sex, as legislation plays a huge role in formulating the values of young people. The hope is that by drawing people’s attention to sex trafficking the conference will help promote values of respect, dignity, equality, and healthy relationships between men and women. This conference will include speakers from across Europe who will share their experience of fighting sex trafficking in their own countries, and hopes to generate ideas on how best to reduce sex trafficking.
Follow us on our website www.stoptraffick.ie and Facebook and twitter for more updates!
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