Press release – for immediate release
Tuesday December 14th - Today’s approval of the proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council, on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings,
and protecting victims was described by The Body Shop and the Children’s Rights Alliance (Ireland) as a “positive and significant step in the international campaign to Stop the Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People”.
In Ireland, since August 2010, 90,000 people have supported the Stop Sex Trafficking Campaign Petition which calls for the Irish Government to offer more specialised assistance to victims of sex trafficking; to identify child victims and enforce laws to prosecute traffickers. The new EU Directive adopted today includes specific measures to address both these important areas as well as identifying victims and increasing the protection and support offered to children and young people under 18 years of age. The Directive commits the Irish government to implement the Directive by December 2012.
Christopher Davis* International Campaigns Director from The Body Shop described the adoption of the EU Directive as “extremely encouraging”, adding that the new Directive’s ambition to tackle the abuse of children and young people was a “true reflection of the mood of 90,000 customers from The Body Shop who have already signed a petition encouraging the Irish Government to take urgent action”. Mr Davis added that the Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People Campaign would continue to secure as many signatures for the petition as possible to ensure support for the implementation of the Directive: “There are still thousands of more people here in Ireland who want to show their commitment by taking personal action to help the most vulnerable in society. As we continue our petition we will use this continued evidence to encourage the government towards accepting the petition call for action and other important elements of the EU Directive in 2011.”
Jillian van Turnhout from The Children’s Rights Alliance expressed support for the Directive adding that “As well as addressing the specific petition calls to action that we are currently promoting, the Directive also specifically focuses on children and young people and offers greater support and assistance to help those affected and at risk. We remain committed to continuing our campaign to Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People and unite the voices of the Irish people to encourage a rapid and effective response to this important new development “.
The Proposal for a new Directive by the European Commission provides for an integrated and holistic approach to combat trafficking in human beings. Its major objectives aim to provide more rigorous prevention, tougher penalties for traffickers and better protection for victims In addition to measures available to all victims of trafficking in human beings, it requires Member States to take tailored actions to assist, support and protect child victims of trafficking (including unaccompanied foreign child victims of trafficking), with a view to finding a durable solution for the children, and promoting their “best interest”. After its endorsement by the European Parliament, this directive shall be binding, as to the result to be achieved, upon each Member State. Should this process not be carried out within the deadline, the European Commission can take legal action against Member States who have not fulfilled their obligations before the European Court of Justice.
The Body Shop and The Children’s Rights Alliance “Stop sex trafficking of children and young people campaign”, in collaboration with ECPAT International, strongly supports this process to align legislation to the new Directive and other relevant regional and international legal instruments as soon as possible, and calls for the full implementation of all measures envisioned by the Directive to enhance the protection of children against trafficking in the EU countries.
In closing, Christopher Davis* from The Body Shop International declared, “the new legal standard introduced by the EU today sends a powerful message to human traffickers around the world, that Europe will not stand for this abhorrent crime and we welcome Ireland’s involvement in this historic progress to protect children and young people.”
To learn more about and to support the ‘Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People’ campaign visit www.thebodyshop.com/stop
For further information on The Stop Sex Trafficking of Children & Young People Petition and The Body Shop please contact Heather Mac Donald.
Notes to Editors:
About The Body Shop
The Body Shop International plc is the original, natural and ethical beauty brand, with over 2,500 stores in over 60 markets worldwide. The Body Shop seeks out wonderful natural ingredients from all four corners of the globe to deliver products bursting with effectiveness, to enhance your natural beauty. By striving to use the planet’s resources wisely, The Body Shop searches for outstanding natural materials and ingredients from across the globe to include in its range of products. The Body Shop is proud to have been the first beauty brand to have brought the benefits of fair trade to the beauty industry through its own unique Community Fair Trade programme, to have introduced 100% recycled packaging, and to raise funds and awareness on key issues of the day, including the sex trafficking of the most vulnerable in our society, children and young people.
The Body Shop has received the recognition of organisations including the British RSPCA, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, having been proudly awarded the prestigious RSPCA ‘Lifetime Achievement Award 2009’, “in recognition of the significant contribution the company has made in helping to achieve a ban on animal testing and in particular the work carried out by its late founder Dame Anita Roddick”. In addition The Body Shop is pleased its products continue to win illustrious awards and accolades internationally. The brand continues to be cited as an ‘ethical’ and ‘green brand’.
About the Children’s Rights Alliance
The Children's Rights Alliance is a coalition of over 90 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to secure the rights and needs of children in Ireland, by campaigning for the full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It aims to improve the lives of all children under 18, through securing the necessary changes in Ireland's laws (strengthening children's rights in the Constitution), policies and services.
In August 2009, the Children’s Rights Alliance joined hands to back a three-year global campaign between The Body Shop and ECPAT International, entitled: Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People. The next phase of the campaign was launched on 8 July 2010 with the launch of a public petition and ECPAT’s Country Progress Card for Ireland.
For more on the Children’s Rights Alliance see www.childrensrights.ie
ECPAT International – which stands for End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes – is a global network made up of independent grassroots organisations, working in 75 countries worldwide that are formally linked and coordinate their work to promote and support the realisation of children’s rights to protection against commercial sexual exploitation. ECPAT groups provide comprehensive services to child victims; ensuring immediate and long term care for recovery and well being of the child; offering specialized training for caregivers, social workers, staff and volunteer workers of programs working with children to improve the quality of support, care and outreach to vulnerable and affected children; while also engaging key stakeholders to improve the national laws and systems, including referral and response mechanisms and child protection services. ECPAT is a leading advocate worldwide for protection of children from sexual exploitation. Activist driven, often operating with very limited funding, ECPAT works directly in communities around the world engaging children’s direct participation in its initiatives including with governments and decision makers to advocate changes for greater protection from trafficking. ECPAT has been a driving force behind three World Congresses against
the Sexual Exploitation of Children - a process that brings together decision makers from around the world to review progress and plan action to stop sexual exploitation of children. Governments, UN agencies, non-governmental organisations, academia, corporations, and children from all countries convene through the World Congresses to agree and commit to specific actions. ECPAT provides follow up and supports the implementation of these agreements. For further information, see www.ecpat.net
About the ‘Stop Sex Trafficking of Children & Young People’ campaign:
The ‘Stop Sex Trafficking of Children & Young People’ campaign launched across the world in August 2009. The campaign complements and supports the continuing work of the various monitoring bodies, such as the UN Human Rights Council, the Commission on the Rights of the Childand, in particular, the UN Special Rapporteurs on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and on Trafficking in Persons, to ensure that the rights of children are respected and that nations are held responsible for guaranteeing this commitment is fulfilled.
*Christopher Davis – International Campaigns Director, The Body Shop International
Christopher is responsible for leading the development of the Stop Sex Trafficking Campaign. On Sunday evening at the International Forum Against Human Trafficking in Luxor, the first lady of Egypt, the honourable H.E. Suzanne Mubarak, presented Christopher with the prestigious United Nation’s Business Leader’s Award to Fight Human Trafficking. This is the first-ever award to honour a corporate leader for energy and dedication in tackling human trafficking. The award was selected by an international jury including H.E. Suzanne Mubarak (wife of the Egyptian President), H.H. Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Mr. Georg Kell (Executive Director, United Nations Global Impact) and Mr. Antonio Maria Costa (Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime).