The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Right (ODIHR) in partnership with the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT) and Apne Aap Women Worldwide, organized an online event to mark the World day against trafficking in persons, on the theme: Ensuring Inclusion of Survivor Voices in All Anti-Trafficking Efforts on 30 July 2021 .
The event which featured global voices against the crime of trafficking with revelatory stories from survivors was aimed at turning a page in the fight against trafficking in persons, and encourage the inclusion of the survivors themselves in the fight because their voice and its accompanying lessons from their experience ushers in the paradigm shift needed to conceptualize and encapsulate the theatrics of trafficking, thereby empowering those engaged in fighting the crime on vital means and ways to curb and totally eliminate the crime in our society.
The event also aimed at enforcing the concept of placing victims of human trafficking in roles where they can have a direct impact on policies being generated to combat the crime, a position which the Survivors of Human Trafficking Empowerment Act had established.
Notable guests and speakers at the events offered diverse perspectives on how to holistically stem the tide of trafficking , AnnaLynne McCord the President of TOGETHER1HEART which empowers women and children victimized by human-trafficking and sexualized violence, expressed concerned on the need to start at the home front in combating the crime.
‘’We must cease creating perpetrators, most of traffickers and pimps etc were once trafficked, We have to live up to the responsibility of protecting our children by ensuring we do not create more victims and more perpetrators of trafficking, we gotta do it together’’ McCord said.
Shandra Woworuntu US Advisor on human trafficking who was also a victim, contributed alongside other notable survivors like Jerome Elam and Kendall Alaimo, emphasizing on diverse aspects of the issue, ranging from the need for Academic Institutions to join the fight against trafficking as they are well equipped for the engagement, to the difference the Banks and financial institutions can make with the importance of their position, and how their inclusion has raised awareness and recorded success in Canada on the issue of trafficking in persons.
The memorable event featured panel discussion, interactive sessions and performances, the corresponding virtual exhibition and the brief on the National referral Mechanism handbook which was presented at the peak of the event ,all highlighted diverse parameters on which to engage and gauge the velocity of the crime at this time in history.
Actors from various organizations joined including the International Survivors of Trafficking Advisory Council (ISTAC) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) among others.
The events total aim of emphasizing on exploring impactful synergies and raising public awareness all reflected the OSCE’s stand that Survivors are the power of the Movement.