We Must End Human Trafficking Now
ECW Executive Director Yasmine Sherif Statement on the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
As the world comes together to “reach every victim of trafficking and leave no one behind” on World Day Against Trafficking of Persons, it is essential that we step up funding to education initiatives across the globe to ensure every girl and boy has access to 12 years of life-saving quality education.
Education is a protection mechanism against trafficking. It offers one critical counter action to end trafficking. Education is also an essential component of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons.
According to the Protocol: “States Parties shall adopt or strengthen legislative or other measures, such as educational, social or cultural measures, including through bilateral and multilateral cooperation, to discourage the demand that fosters all forms of exploitation of persons, especially women and children, that leads to trafficking.”
This is a global crisis that’s impacting the lives of millions. According to the latest Global Estimates of Modern Slavery (2022), 49.6 million people live in modern slavery – either through forced labor or forced marriage. Roughly a quarter of all the victims of modern slavery are children. About 22 million have been pushed into a forced marriage, almost half of whom are children.
COVID-19, climate change and a significant jump in forced displacement are making matters even worse. Through our Postcards From The Edge Campaign, we’ve received scores of letters from crisis-impacted children around the world calling on world leaders to support Education Cannot Wait (ECW) and our efforts to mobilize at least US$1.5 billion to reach 20 million crisis-impacted children and adolescents worldwide.
For refugee girls like Mariam in Burkina Faso and boys like Zawad in Bangladesh, access to a quality, holistic education means a safe place to learn, a healthy meal at lunch, and community support that advocates for an end to child marriage and child labour.
Girls and boys must be protected from grave violations of their human rights, such as sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery and related trafficking. Join Education Cannot Wait and our global strategic partners today in calling for an end to human trafficking by investing in education as a powerful means of protection, prevention and redress.