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UN presented petition against sex trafficking signed by 7 mn

Thursday September 29, 2011 10:23:09 PM, IANS

A petition against child traficking signed by seven million people was presented to the UN on Thursday.

New Delhi: A petition containing over 7 million signatures from all over the world urging governments across the globe to take urgent action to stop the sex trafficking of children and young people was presented to the UN Thursday, making it perhaps the largest the world body has ever received.

International cosmetic brand The Body Shop and ECPAT, a global network of organisations and individuals working together for the elimination of child prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of children presented the petition to Human Rights Council president Dupuy Lassere in Geneva.

The petition is part of The Body Shop and ECPAT's ground-breaking campaign to urge governments to do more to protect the 1.2 million children and young people trafficked every year for sexual exploitation.

"This campaign has already inspired change on an unprecedented scale, leading to 14 countries across the world to commit to adopting new legislation in response to this petition," a statement the two organisations said in a statement.

Countries where governments have already committed to action as a result of the Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People campaign include Malta, Denmark, Portugal, South Africa, Malaysia, Norway, Switzerland, Pakistan, Romania, Taiwan, Ireland, Indonesia, The Philippines and New Zealand.

Receiving the petition, Lassere said: "This petition represents a historic occasion for the United Nations Human Rights Council to build on the notable successes of the campaign and to inspire governments to join and take action to tackle this crime in its internal and international form and work on prevention and reparation of victims."

The campaign has been active across 65 countries and senior representatives from 35 national governments have accepted campaign petitions and met with representatives from The Body Shop, ECPAT and other local partners, to discuss actions to support those at risk or affected.

With over 2.3 million signatures collected in the European Union, the campaign produced the largest human rights petition ever presented to the European Union and has received a number of prestigious awards and secured the support of major opinion formers including former US president Bill Clinton, who described it as "an exemplary approach to addressing a specific global challenge".

Commenting on Thursday's event, Christopher Davis, international campaigns director for The Body Shop, and winner of the United Nations Business Leaders Award Against Human Trafficking said: "Our success demonstrates that the approach of The Body Shop to campaigning can change the world."

"By uniting the voices of people calling for social change instead of focusing on short term fund-raising activities we know we can inspire governments to take action which creates long term sustainable change. What we have achieved with our campaign so far will create a safer world for children for decades to come," Davis added.

Kathleen Speake, executive director of ECPAT International, said: "Trafficking in children and young people is a grave crime, where offenders have been operating with impunity and where child victims are often criminalised or abandoned without care options."

"The unprecedented support for ECPAT's campaign with The Body Shop demonstrates that the world is calling for change, and governments are beginning to listen," Speake added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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