HUMAN trafficking, notably of women, has become a global problem and a human rights issue which will be discussed at a global summit on HIV/AIDS and female trafficking in December.
The summit, organised by the Global Women’s Health Organisation (GWHO), will be held in Washington, DC, in the United States, on Dec 1-4 and in Vicenza, Italy, on Dec 10-17.
The summit will involve delegates from all over the world to discuss latest research findings, share best practices, exchange ideas and empower each other.
According to GWHO youth leader Ngigi Teresa, a case study will be presented at the summit that looks at examples of women trafficked into Europe for prostitution and sexual exploitation and to highlight human rights violations committed against women, the massive infection of HIV/AIDS among women and the social repercussions of the most profitable global trade.
“This study examines the different aspects that determine a woman’s entrance into the global sex trade, the conditions that define the human rights abuses and what is currently being done to ameliorate all factors involved,” she said.
“Many academics, advocates and governments have deliberated on the definition of and the motivations for trafficking of women. In many developing countries, sexual slavery is tied directly to the impact of globalisation,” she said.
She said in eastern Europe, the collapse of the former Soviet Union led to the sudden impoverishment of vulnerable populations, primarily women and children who were most likely to be affected by transnational prostitution.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) admitted that “human trafficking is inextricably linked to poverty”.
Wherever privation and economic hardship prevailed, there would be those who are destitute and desperate enough to enter into fraudulent employment schemes which are the most common intake systems in the world of trafficking.
Teresa noted that there were various United Nations agreements that worked to stop the trade in women, including studies and reports completed by the International Labour Organisation in regard to the working conditions of the women who are being trafficked.
“National laws exist which govern how the women are treated after arrest and regarding deportation in accordance with immigration laws, there has also been an effort on the part of the European Union to regulate the trafficking and smuggling of women in light of migration laws,” Teresa added.
The summit will:
* Present strong evidence to influence leaders, including key policy makers and donors, to increase their commitment to HIV/AIDS, care and treatment, undertake responsible action and be more accountable;
* Aim to build a common understanding among participants on trafficking issues and their impact on women and children in general, and on their sexual and reproductive health and rights in particular;
* Identify approaches, methods and good practices for tackling trafficking issues; and
* Improve public awareness of the continued impact of global response to HIV/AIDS and female trafficking through enhanced media coverage.