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
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
"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
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
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.