Austria stands with PH vs. human trafficking

Austria stands with PH vs. human trafficking

MANILA – The Austrian Embassy in Manila announced on Tuesday a year-long anti-trafficking campaign to show its solidarity with the Philippines in combatting sexual exploitation.

The initiative called ‘’We Stand As One: Campaign Against Human Trafficking’’ will bring together the embassy and non-government organization Voice of the Free (VoF) to promote women’s and children’s rights and combat sexual exploitation in all its forms.

The Embassy said this also follows the United Nations 2021 theme for World Day Against Trafficking in Persons: ‘‘Victims’ Voices Lead the Way’’.

“Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) and its socio-economic impact have exacerbated the existing stark inequalities of children, young girls, and women in many parts of the world and amplified their risk to trafficking, sexual exploitation, and abuse, especially online and as they are exposed to the new vulnerabilities of home-based learning,” said Austrian Ambassador to Manila Bita Rasoulian.

“This campaign will help to raise awareness for the scope and impact of sexual exploitation and abuse of children in all its forms and the need to adequately respond to this growing transnational threat through urgent action at a local, regional and global level,” she added.

The campaign aims to raise public awareness for human trafficking and sexual exploitation and the plight of its victims through a series of events that focus on survivors and target groups to reduce vulnerabilities, prevent future crimes, and enhance cooperation between state and non-state actors at all levels towards a more victim-centered and effective approach.

The planned events include interactive webinars, expert seminars, and panel discussions as well as film screenings and creative workshops in partnership with stakeholders in the education sector, civil society organizations in Austria and the Philippines, businesses including in the tourism sector, media, and relevant actors.

Among the initiative’s highlights is the intercultural creative workshop facilitated by Austrian artist Alexandra Fruhstorfer in collaboration with Filipino artists and Salzburg Global Seminar fellows Ralph Eya and Reymart Cerin.

Designed for human trafficking victims and survivors sheltered at the Voice of the Free and ECPAT Philippines, the creative workshop aims to empower the survivors by allowing them to find their voice and lead the combat against human trafficking through creative expression. (PNA)

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