This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Traffick stopper

Unite’s Theresa Griffin is campaigning for more support for the vulnerable victims of sex traffickers, across the EU


The young woman may think she’s going to work in an up-market bar in the West End of London. But the gang who trafficked her into Britain has other plans. Many thousands of vulnerable women – including under-eighteens – are brought into the UK by pimps and criminals every year, tricked into a life of degradation, not knowing where to turn.

Across Europe, the scourge of sex trafficking blights lives. And pressure is growing for a new free EU-wide hotline for trafficked women duped into a life of slavery in any EU country. Many have no official status and no means of support.

A co-ordinated approach by EU governments – initially resisted by the ConDems – has now been agreed. It aims to help victims break loose and bring more traffickers to justice.

Vulnerable women and children need help to make contact. Which is why a new EU-backed hotline for trafficked women in so vital, says Theresa Griffin, the Unite-backed North-West of England candidate for the European parliament next year. Theresa, a ‘committed Unite activist and long-standing campaigner for workers’ rights and equality,’ is working with colleagues in Europe to press the case for a hotline.

Labour MEPs and the Socialist and Democratic group in the European parliament are at the forefront the campaign to get tough on sex traffickers across the EU and make life better for victims. Theresa said, “We need a co- ordinated approach to help them. A free EU hotline as part of a co-ordinated strategy across all member states could be a lifeline for many.”

25 uniteWORKS May/June 2013

The ConDems initially shunned the idea of an EU-wide directive on trafficking, opting in belatedly and missing the chance to shape strategy. Theresa said, “This problem needs a co-ordinated approach, and needs to be seen as part of the attack on organised crime and money- laundering. The ConDem government finally got round to getting involved – missing out on the chance to help shape policy. We’ve got to be at the table from the start.”

The figures, she says, are truly shocking. Exploited – vulnerable need support

An estimated 600,000 and 800,000 women and children are trafficked through international borders each year. The current estimate for the number of people in forced labour throughout the world as a result of trafficking is 2.45m – higher than at any time during the slave trade.

“It’s important to raise awareness of these shocking issues and decrease the demand through zero tolerance for both sexual and labour exploitation,” she adds.

Theresa Griffin

Jess Hurd/

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36