Zonta International statement on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2021

Trafficking in persons, or human trafficking, is a severe violation of human rights. Thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers each year, both abroad and in their own countries. Female victims continue to be the primary targets: Women make up 46% and girls 19% of all victims of trafficking.

This year on the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, Zonta International joins the United Nations in honoring survivors of human trafficking and recognizing the importance of listening to and learning from them.

Zonta International is committed to ending all forms of gender-based violence, which is highlighted each year in our Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, 25 November - 10 December.

Many Zonta clubs choose to focus on trafficking in persons and have held awareness workshops, organized public displays featuring survivors' stories, taken out advertisements on trucks that travel throughout the United States, donated backpacks of personal items to rescued human trafficking survivors, sponsored plays and documentary screenings, and more.

Just as important as raising awareness and completing acts of service is sharing the stories of survivors.

"Survivors of human trafficking have experienced terrible violence and should be supported through their recovery," said Zonta International President Sharon Langenbeck. "By listening to their stories, we can better establish effective measures to identify and rescue more survivors and help them on their rehabilitation journey."

As part of the "Victims' Voices Lead the Way" theme, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is running a campaign that includes a "series of short multimedia stories featuring human trafficking survivors which illustrate the impact of survivor engagement and the need for victim empowerment."

The stories, which are complemented by a related social media package, include interviews with survivors who discuss their motivation to engage in anti-trafficking efforts and highlight their successful activities.

To get involved, the UNODC suggests highlighting the work of survivors to fight human trafficking in your country, community or organization, and sharing, liking and commenting on the social media messages for the World Day. Be sure to use the campaign hashtag #EndHumanTrafficking on all social media platforms. 

30 JULY 2021