Iluta Lace, Director of Marta Centrs (Latvia) and Guðrún Jónsdóttir, Director of Stigamot (Iceland) were amongst the grantees of a new fund against trafficking. The fund is set up by Equality Now, a women’s human rights organisation, to support grassroot organisations working to end the commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls.
The meeting on “Global efforts to eradicate sex traffic” was held in Kathmandu, Nepal (8-9 December 2007) and gathered grassroot NGOs working with victims of trafficking and sexual violence from different parts of the world, to exchange information, experiences and strategies.
Women from countries as India, Lithuania, Cambodia, Iceland, Philippines, Korea, Peru and Nepal, all deeply involved and some being themselves survivors of prostitution and trafficking, shared the point of view that prostitution is violence and cannot be legalised. They also highlighted the importance of addressing the demand. NGOs represented in the meeting are undertaking outreach work as well as organising awareness raising events for the general public and young persons to address the demand, and want a change in legislation. There was much interest for the South-Korean situation, where legislation punishing the purchaser of sexual services has been adopted, similar to the Swedish legislation.
The Trafficking Fund facilitates the exchange of ideas and strategies. With two members from the Nordic-Baltic Network involved, let’s hope it will be of support for participation in a global exchange of grassroots strategies and for sharing of successful advocacy models in our work to end sex trafficking and prostitution globally.