Here is a thematic summary of events held during #csw61 in relation to ending human trafficking and prostitution and all violence against girls and women so as to achieve women’s economic liberation. At least 7 events saw the promotion of the Nordic Model, through survivors of the sex trade, links between prostitution and other violation of women’s human rights, the work of frontline and advocacy groups, and the links with trafficking in women and girls. A link to full account of the event is HERE 11 events were organized by abolitionist NGO’s dealing specifically with the realities of prostitution and the sex trade.
Marie Helene Halligon has prepared a Way of the Cross /Chemin de Croix for this season of Lent and Holy Week linking with the Human Trafficking. Chemin de Croix Way of the Cross (Sorry no Spanish version)
The violence against women and girls is stark as presented in the various CSW61 side events and parallel events. But equally strong is the growing strength of the abolitionist movement, groups and NGO’s.
“There is really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberatly silenced, or the preferably unheard”, Arundhati Roy
I am happy to see girls organizations taking up this issue including Wagggs and Rights4Girls. Rebecca Hunt, from NAWO (National Alliance of Women’s Organizations, UK) Youth, spoke about “Sexual exploitation is not a good job”. “For society to suggest that prostitution is a safe and decent job is a stain on us all. We need to question this notion, that in times of poverty and lack of opportunities, it is ok for someone to feel that they have no choice but to turn to prostitution. We have to stand up and say, society must have a red line that sexual exploitation is, without question, unacceptable and cannot be considered a decent job”.
Another aspect raised was ‘trading on the female body’ addressing surrogacy. Surrogacy is an international problem that demands an international solution. Speakers highlighted the similar root causes with prostitution, in terms of demand, system, business-driven industry, exploitation of women and the most vulnerable ones.
Did #CSW 61 address any of these issues in the outcome document? Well not really. Human trafficking is referenced 5 times in the document see Advanced unedited edition CSW 61 Outcome Document Paragraph 14, h, and qq. ‘ Devise, strengthen and implement comprehensive anti-trafficking strategies that integrate a human rights and sustainable development perspective, and enforce, as appropriate, legal frameworks, in a gender and age-sensitive manner, to combat and eliminate all forms of trafficking in persons; raise public awareness of the issue of trafficking in persons, in particular women and girls; take measures to reduce the vulnerability of women and girls to modern slavery and sexual exploitation; and enhance international cooperation, inter alia, to counter with a view to eliminating the demand that fosters all forms of exploitation, including sexual exploitation and forced labour;
Sexual harassment gets two mentions in Paragraph 14 and h – listed with Human Trafficking. h. “Develop and apply gender-sensitive measures for the protection from, prevention and punishment of all forms of violence against women and girls in public and private spaces, including domestic violence, sexual harassment, trafficking in persons and femicide, among others, to promote the realization of women’s and girls’ economic rights and empowerment and facilitate women’s full and productive employment and contribution to the economy, including by facilitating changes in gender stereotypes and negative social norms, attitudes and behaviours, inter alia, through promoting community mobilization, women’s economic autonomy and the engagement of men and boys, particularly community leaders; and explore, where possible, measures to respond to the consequences of violence against women, such as employment protection, time off from work, awareness training, psychosocial services and social safety nets for women and girls who are victims and survivors of violence, and furthering their economic opportunities;”
Facilitating changes in gender stereotypes and negative social norms, attitudes and behaviors is the challenge.
Read the latest Newsletter Stop Trafficking Shaming Companies that turn a blind eye to sexual exploitation.
Today is day 3 of the campaign. Mercy Global Action at the UN in partnership with Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd are engaging in the full 16 days of activism. #16Days16Stories is part of the UN sponsored 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence. Our campaign focuses on the experience of formerly trafficked women and girls who give testimony to gender discrimination and marginalization from childhood into early adulthood. Their stories, told in their own words, highlight the many human rights violations and cumulative disadvantages in their life journeys. Through their stories, survivor advocates provide key insights into preventative measures to end human trafficking.
The launch video and 16 stories can be accessed by clicking on #16days16stories Each day a new video is uploaded. On the 25th we heard from Aleta who said “from the time I was born I labelled myself as a disgrace because I was born as a result of my parent’s extramarital affair.” On the 26th Emerita who was born in 1992 in Mindanao said “I am the fourth of five children. My father worked in a fishing company owned by his friend but was later fired by the owner because my father had a mistress in the office,” and today November 27th Katrina shared “when I was two, my mother and father left us in the care of our elder brother, who was 12 at that time. They went to Cebu for work, an island far away from where we lived…” Having read to the testimony of each women the viewer is asked to reflect for a few moments; presented with points to ponder and suggested actions to take.
A Guide to using the Videos was also prepared.
The 16 days of activism against gender-based Violence Campaign has as its theme this year ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World’ and proposed that organizations around the world plan a twitter teach-in. If interested in knowing more about a twitter teach-in Click Here! @gsijp @mercyworldwide are the Twitter handles using #16days16stories and #GBVteachin The Twitter Teach in @gsijp @mercyworldwide follows the points to ponder and take action of the 16 videos.
Read the book ‘I Have A Voice – Trafficked Women in their own Words‘ by Angela Reed. Tomorrow Leah tells her story. (Please note the videos are available on Vimeo at HERE
Webcast of the ‘Girls Speak Out’ Enjoy the two hour programme.
An exciting moment to have international visitors attending the ‘Girls Speak Out’ Tanya Corrie, Development Lead - Financial Security, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand
Sr Monique Tarabeh, Soeurs du Bon Pasteur, Communications Rome, Province of Lebanon/Syria.
Barbara O’Carroll, GSIJP Team, Mission Partner, New York (bottom picture) Cecilie Kern (middle picture) and Winifred Doherty (green jacket)
I was proud to be featuring girls from Angola, Indonesia and Malaysia on social media and the prayer was prepared by Sister Taskila Nicholas, Province of Central East India/Nepal. Thank you Taskila. Truly, we are a network empowering girls changing the world!
Global Day of Action #GlobalDayofAction9am-5pm Twitter Chat Schedule ET
9-10am – UN Women @UN_Women #GirlsTakeover #IDG2016
10-11am – #BuildOn Build On @buildOn
11am-12pm – #TeamGirl @wagggs_world
12:30-2pm – Girl Scouts of the USA @girlscouts
3-5pm – Working Group on Girls #GirlsSpkOut @NGOWGG
Global Day of Action Partners:
UN Women @UN_Women
Plan International @PlanGlobal
Girl Scouts @girlscouts
Girls Coalition @GirlsSWPA
Build On @buildOn
Working Group on Girls @NGOWGG
Loretto Community @LorettoattheUN
Dominican Leadership Academy @dlcngoun
Salvation Army @SalvationArmyUS
School Sisters of Notre Dame @School_sisters
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd @GSIJP @winifreddoherty
Anglican Council of Churches @ACOffice
Yolanda can be seen almost at the end … she was the last of the NGO’s to be heard that day.
International Day of the Girl: ‘Girls Speak Out’ at the United Nations 9 Oct 2015 Theme: The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030. Organized by the Permanent Mission of Canada. Listen to the raw and uncensored voices of girls …View the full programme here
The Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd was a sponsor of this event. See can you spot our logo on the T-shirt?
Congratulations again to the girls of Kenya Click here to see the video
Thanks to all who contributed to the various blog posts for the International Day of the Girl.
The future is in the making!