Today's Women of Courage post is devoted to a group of women from the European Parliament, the bicameral legislative branch of the European Union (EU). It is considered one of the most powerful legislatures in the world, serving the second largest democratic electorate in the world (after India) and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world (375 million eligible voters in 2009).
Those of you who follow this blog in Europe are no doubt aware of this group and it's mission to promote Women's Rights and Gender Equality.
The women that form the Committee are holding their next meeting tomorrow, September 2. You may view the meeting live at the following link.
On the agenda will be a discussion of Trafficking in Human Beings. This is a huge issue around the globe.
Several of my Gal Pals and I here in the US are involved with a group called Love 146. Statistics from their website show an alarming pattern of abuse, and slavery, including women:
1. 600,000-800,000 people are trafficked internationally each year
2. 14,500-17,500 are trafficked into the U.S every year
3. 80% of these are women and children
4. It’s a $9 billion business worldwide (Paulk, 2005)
5. It is in the top 3 revenue earners for organized crime (Leach, 2004)
6. 1.2 million children are trafficked every year
7. There are 27 million slaves world wide (Leach, 2004)
8. In 1850, slaves cost $40,000 (in today’s dollar); today, they only cost $30 (Bales, 1999)
9.In 2004: 7000 traffickers were prosecuted, and 3000 convicted
10. The most common type of slavery is debt bondage (see above).
11. The fastest growing type of slavery is trafficking
12. The Maximum Jail Time for trafficking: 20 yrs-life, depending on the offense
13. Convicted traffickers must “provide full restitution to victims.”
Women of Wealth have a mandate to use their Time, Talent, and Treasure to bring about meaningful change in our world. Groups of powerful women such as FEMM are doing this at a global level.
Please consider supporting a group such as Love 146 or use the resources of humantrafficking.org to locate an initiative in your country or region.