THE BODY SHOP AND ECPAT LAUNCH GLOBAL PETITION IN INDIA TO STOP SEX TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

27th August 2010, The Body Shop and ECPAT today launch the much – anticipated Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People Petition in INDIA.  To mark the occasion at 4 pm, The Body Shop and ECPAT are asking that every concerned person in the country show their solidarity against Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People by making a simultaneous “Big Stop” as a national sign of zero tolerance.

Stop  Trafficking of Children and Young People Petition in India
Stop Trafficking of Children and Young People Petition in India

The national activity will culminate in a high profile “Big Stop” at Select City Walk Mall, Saket, New Delhi where up to 150 participants are expected which will have Cristina Albertin (UNODC– Regional Representative) along with celebrities- Actor & Social Worker Nafisa Ali and Actor Chitrangda Singh showing their support. Also Present were Shri Ravi Kant , President Shakti Vahini and Advocate Supreme Court of India , Ashish Gupta , Secretary, National Media Coalition and India leading designer Jatin Kocchar along with leading activist who have been working on Anti Trafficking .

The celebrities would flag off the petition launch by signing the Stop Sex Trafficking Petition at the event & by drawing or painting around their hand on the petition Wall to support the campaign.

Huge number of celebrities & eminent personalities from various fields would be approached to support the Campaign by signing the petition and giving a sketch of their handprints.  Globally celebrities like Sir Ben Kingsley, Robert Pattinson, Katie Melua, Yoko Ono & Joanna Lumley have shown their support by signing petitions and drawing their handprints.In India, celebrities like Social Worker – Ms. Ambika Shukla, Designers – Arujn Kapoor, Anjali Kapoor, Leena, Samant Chauhan, Nida Mehmood, Photographer – Rohit Chawla and Model – Meher Bhasin have signed the petition and sent their handprints in support of the campaign.

The INDIA petition aims at raising awareness on the issue of sex trafficking and requests nationwide support for:

  • Urgent Ratification of the UN Trafficking Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children;
  • Integration of a compulsory module on trafficking in children within school curricula and teachers training programs;
  • Strengthening of the special 24/7 nation-wide toll-free helpline so that it addresses adequately the needs of children victims of trafficking;
  • Establishment of specific shelters for child victims of trafficking or existing shelters to be equipped to provide systematic adequate assistance and protection services, especially psychological counseling.

Ms Christin Albertin of UNODC with Advocate Ravi Kant , President Shakti Vahini  and Journalist Ashish Gupta at the Launch
Ms Christin Albertin of UNODC with Advocate Ravi Kant , President Shakti Vahini and Journalist Ashish Gupta at the Launch

The National Petition is witnessing strong support from the civil society also. Shakti Vahini, National Media Coalition on Trafficking, STOP, ICYO, Tronie Foundation among others have extended active support to this campaign.

Taking place in some 66 countries around the world, the fifth Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York, hosted by Former US President Bill Clinton cited this campaign as ‘an exemplary approach to addressing a specific global challenge’ Commenting on the scale of the problem at hand, Cristina Albertin from UNODC stresses the need to adopt a comprehensive approach to anti-human trafficking, promote better international cooperation and mutual legal assistance between countries and ensure the safety, rights and protection of victims in line with the provisions laid down in the Protocol to “Prevent, Suppress and Punish trafficking in persons, especially Women and Children” which supplements the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC)- a global legally binding instrument to promote cooperation to prevent and combat transnational organized crime more effectively.  Highlighting why The Body Shop is supporting this campaign, Sameer Prasad from The Body Shop India said, “The Body Shop has never shied away from tackling controversial issues and causes that others would avoid. Indeed it was one of the dying wishes of our late founder, Dame Anita Roddick that this, the “modern-day slave trade” – human trafficking – be brought to an end. Because we believe that collectively a lot more can be done to address this problem, we have joined forces with ECPAT globally to launch a petition which aims at strengthening the legislation and protection measures and in doing so, stamp out this terrible violation of children’s rights”.

To put a “Big Stop” to Sex Trafficking, The Body Shop and ECPAT International are asking customers and supporters to go to their local The Body Shop store to sign The Stop Sex Trafficking Petition in a personalised way – by drawing or painting around their hand. Alternatively they can sign up online at www.thebodyshop.in

The partnership between The Body Shop and ECPAT was initially launched in August 2009 with The Body Shop customers able to purchase a specially developed “Soft Hands Kind Heart Hand Cream” all the profits of which go to ECPAT India Partners. So far in INDIA lacs has been raised for this cause.

Event Partner:

UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime) which actively provides technical assistance and financial assistance in South Asia through various projects for prevention, prosecution and protection to curb human trafficking in the region, is lending their support to The Body Shop® India as Event Partners in the Petition Launch.

 Advocate Ravi Kant , President Shakti Vahini  and Journalist Ashish Gupta of The National Media Coalition India at the Launch of The Petition
Advocate Ravi Kant , President Shakti Vahini and Journalist Ashish Gupta of The National Media Coalition India at the Launch of The Petition

About The Body Shop

The Body Shop International plc is the original ethical cosmetics company, now operating more than 2,500 stores in over 60 markets worldwide. The Body Shop has constantly sought out wonderful natural ingredients from all four corners of the globe to bring you products bursting with effectiveness, to enhance your natural beauty. We strive to use our planet’s resources wisely, searching for outstanding natural materials and ingredients from across the globe to include in our range of products. We continue to lead the way, introducing 100% recycled packaging, and raising funds and awareness to help prevent the spread of HIV/ AIDS, and continuing to support marginalized communities around the world through our Community Trade program.

About ECPAT International

ECPAT International is a global network composed of more than 81 member organizations in 75 countries. Members of ECPAT work to combat commercial sexual exploitation, including providing direct care to child victims public information campaigns and working with governments to design and implement action to protect children.

Please visit http://www.thebodyshop.in to sign the petition online.

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