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Public Awareness Event for Youth Stop Human Trafficking! Took Place in Minsk

On December 2, the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, in “Centralny” cinema hall in Minsk a public awareness event for youth titled “Stop Human Trafficking!” was organized in the framework of the EU–UNDP–UNICEF project “Preventing, Fighting and Addressing the Social Consequences of Trafficking in Human Beings in the Republic of Belarus” jointly with the Administration of Moskovsky district of Minsk.

The purpose of the event was to raise awareness of young people about issues of trafficking in human beings and basic rules of safety when traveling abroad. The event was attended by about 250 students of universities and vocational training colleges of Minsk.

Representatives of the UNDP, the Department on Drugs and Trafficking in Human Beings of the Head Department of Interior of Minsk Executive Committee, Ministry of Education, and the NGO "Belarusian Young Women Christian Association", which runs the anti–trafficking hotline “La Strada”, spoke before the audience.

“Young people are responsible for their future, and how bright and safe it will be depends a lot on them and the decisions that they take in their lives”, said, addressing the youth audience, Valentina Stalyho, Programme Manager of the UNDP Country Office in Belarus. “This event clarifies the main issues related to trafficking, and we would like to share the information about the rules of safe travel and life while abroad, as well as what principles to use when young people decide to go abroad, and who to consult with to be better informed and make correct decisions”, she said.

The culminating point of the event was showing of the documentary “Inhuman Traffic”, created by MTV anti–trafficking campaign “MTV Exit” featuring the world famous actress Angelina Jolie. In fast–moving and compelling form the film tells about harrowing stories of young women trapped in sexual exploitation in Europe – Anna, who was trafficked by her neighbor to the Balkans where she was forced to be a prostitute, and Tatiana, a victim who spent 6 months as a sex slave in Amsterdamafter being sold by her boyfriend. The authors of the film call on each one, who knows about facts of human trafficking, to take action to stop the criminals and help the victims.

“Today, as never before, young people have broad opportunities for education, work and travel abroad. At the same time, these new opportunities have veiled risks related to human trafficking. We are glad that we have been able to raise awareness of the young people about the rules of safe travelling abroad. We hope that this event will contribute to the successful fulfillment of all their plans”, said, evaluating the results of the event, Project Manager Ekaterina Dyatlova.

For reference:

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is marked every year on December 2 by the initiative of the United Nations. 60 years ago in 1949 on this day the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. The Convention called on the governments of all the UN member–states to take all measures to combat prostitution and human trafficking related to it, and to protect and support the victims.

The project “Preventing, Fighting and Addressing the Social Consequences of Trafficking in Human Beings in the Republic of Belarus” aims to enhance the national capacities in fighting human trafficking through preventive measures and better protection and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking. The funding for the project of 1,334,550 Euro has been provided by the European Union, UNDP and UNICEF. The national implementing agency of the project is the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Belarus.

For more information, please contact Alexander Novikov, PR Specialist of the project, tel. (+375 17) 286 30 43, mobile: (+375 29) 671 88 91, e–mail: .

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