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Stop Traffick! Research Report Launched at Transnational Conference, 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, stating 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, and Anna 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.
Following on from the success of the conference, the results and recommendations will be presented at a briefing session in the European Parliament in Brussels with Mikael Gustafsson, chair of FEMM, giving the opening remarks and Myria Vassiliadou, the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator concluding the event.