19.03.2007 -

"Women Trafficking" screened at UNESCO

Investigative documentary that raises awareness about the dramatic consequences of illegal women trafficking in Southeast Europe was recently screened at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

"Women Trafficking" is a 25 minute documentary that investigates the social and cultural contexts of women trafficking in Southeast Europe. The film draws attention to the factors that contribute to trafficking - specifically lack of education of young girls, violence against women, poverty, and pervasive gender inequality. While providing an intimate view into a particular context, this somber documentary is an invitation to understand the trafficking of women as a global problem.

Through interviews with trafficking victims and their family, customs police, NGO workers and smugglers, the stories uncover issues such as the profiling of victims, trafficking routes and the lack of prevention strategies.

Mr Abdul Waheed Khan, Assistant Director General for Communication and Information, praised the film as "an excellent example of sensitization." Mr Khan underscored the crucial role media plays in raising awareness of governments and sensitizing the public about human rights violations.

Between January 2000 and June 2003, 5,203 victims of trafficking were identified and assisted in South Eastern Europe. Albania, Bulgaria and Romania are the primary countries of origin, while Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo (Republic of Serbia) are the primary transit and destination countries. Many girls caught up in human trafficking end up forced into prostitution.

The documentary, which began production in October 2005 and was finalized in April 2006, was produced by the Eurovision News Exchange Project (ERNO). ERNO is a news exchange network of 12 public broadcasters that co-produce professional investigative reporting. ERNO was launched in 2000 to strengthen cooperation, reconciliation and peace in the South East European region through public broadcasters.

As part of the week-long celebrations for the occasion of International Women's Day the screening on March 13 was organized jointly by the Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace of the Communication and Information Sector and the Section for Women and Gender Equality of the Bureau of Strategic Planning.

The audience was welcomed by Mr Abdul Waheed Khan, the Assistant Director General for Communication and Information, and Ms Sanye Gulser Corat, Head of the Section for Women and Gender Equality. Jelena Gakovic, executive producer of the film, introduced "Women Trafficking" and responded to questions that followed the screening.

"Trafficking Women" will continue to be distributed and screened to international audiences. The producers are now working on investigative reporting on environmental issues.

ERNO is sponsored by UNESCO, the European Commission, the European Broadcasters Union, and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.




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