UN-backed container exhibit spotlights plight of sex trafficking victims

6 February 2008 –

A new exhibit using transport containers to illustrate the brutal experiences of women sold into the sex trade will be featured next week at a United Nations forum focusing on the global billion-dollar human trafficking industry.

According to UN estimates, about 2.5 million people from 127 countries have been trafficked to 137 countries for purposes such as forced labour, sexual exploitation, the removal of organs and body parts, forced marriages, child adoption and begging.

“The Journey against Sex Trafficking” is an interactive exhibit based on the experiences of young women who leave their homes in search of a better life only to find themselves tricked or forced by traffickers to work in the sex industry.

“The aim of Journey is to show visitors the reality of human trafficking – a crime that happens every day, all around the world – and to encourage the public, politicians and especially consumers to take action,” the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a news release.

The brainchild of Academy Award-winning British actress Emma Thompson, the exhibit features seven containers, individually designed by leading artists, showing a different stage in the trafficking process.

The exhibit will be on display at the 13 to 15 February Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking – part of the UN Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) – which will bring together more than 1,000 participants from international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, academia, the private sector and the entertainment industry to raise awareness about human trafficking and spur further action to combat the crime.

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