Irina Bokova highlights the role of education to tackle the challenges of trafficking of women
UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, addressed the Conference entitled “Trafficking of women: exploring effective policies and mechanisms to prevent it through education”, held on 26 November at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. This event, organized on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, celebrated every year on 25 November, seeks to raise awareness and build stronger international and national action against the trafficking of women. Trafficking is a global phenomenon. A total of 161 countries serve as origin, transit, and/or destination for the trafficking trade, with victims being trafficked in and out of an estimated 137 countries.
“Estimates suggest that over 2.5 million people are trafficked every year, of different origins, ages and socio-economic backgrounds, of which 80 % are women and girls,” said the Director-General. “In this form of modern slavery, as we must call it, the line between sexual, labour, and other exploitations is often unclear and blurred […] In its complexity, this illustrates the nature of the challenges of the 21st century -- we must tackle them together, in a coordinated way, or we will never solve them. An international response is the only way to end to this transnational crime”.
This event, organized by UNESCO in cooperation with the Permanent Delegation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to UNESCO, brought together a number of leaders in the fight against trafficking, including Corinne Dettmeijer-Vermeulen, Dutch Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, Special Representative of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and Coordinator for Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings and Myria Vassiliadou, the European Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, along with Excellency Ms. Mariam Katagum, Permanent Delegate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to UNESCO and Ms. Antoaneta Vassileva, Secretary General of the Bulgarian National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings.