At a press conference Thursday in Bangkok The Body Shop announced its launch of a worldwide campaign against sex trafficking of children and young people. The campaign’s goal – to influence the world’s decision-makers to take action. One of the big issues, they hope to draw attention to, is sex tourism in specifically Southeast Asia, explains The Body Shop in Denmark.
The ’21st century slave trade’, this is the words that founder of The Body Shop Anita Roddick in September 2007, two days before her death, used to describe the trafficking of children and young people for sexual exploitation. Anita Roddick wanted to find a way for The Body Shop to end the global abuse. Following this philosophy The Body Shop began working with ECPAT International (a global network of grassroots organisations fighting against sex exploitation of children and young people), to create the three-year global campaign ‘Stop Sex Trafficking of Children & Young People’, which is being launched worldwide at the end of August 2009. The campaign goal is to increase public awareness and to raise money for children at risk around the world.
As part of the campaign The Body Shop has created a new hand cream with the campaign logo. The profits from the sale will go to ECPAT’s work to end child prostitution and child pornography and trafficking of children for sexual purposes.
According to the cosmetic franchise’s branch in Denmark, The Body Shop wants to spread awareness about sex tourism in places like South East Asia and Bulgaria. “We want to make particularly male tourists aware of the consequences that prostitution has on the woman in concern – she is often a victim of trafficking, and therefore the man is supporting trafficking by visiting the woman,” says head of marketing at The Body Shop Denmark, Marianne Gulløv. “We think that sex trafficking is terrible and we are pleased that our involvement can help to influence customers, decision makers, and hopefully in the long run make a difference for victims of trafficking in both Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe”, she adds.
Marianne Gulløv explains: “The biggest challenge related to human trafficking in for example Southeast Asia, is poverty because poverty often lures people to travel to other countries in hopes of earning enough money to maintain the family. Additionally, the organized crime is incredibly difficult to tackle due to lack of, or poor legislation in the area, mixed with corruption among authorities, police etc. – which gives the traffickers good opportunities.”
In addition The Body Shop and ECPAT are publishing a global report on the issue containing new information about child sex trafficking. The reports findings suggest that the current global recession is set to drive more vulnerable children and young people to be exploited by the global sex trade.
In Denmark the campaign will be launched on the 31st of august. The launch will be marketed by different events and happenings in the stores around Denmark. In the large Body Shop store, on the famous shopping street Strøget in Copenhagen, The Body Shop is planning to fill the shop’s windows with “bruised” girls, dressed in “chains” and a card that says “for sale” – as a symbol of ‘the 21st century slave trade’.
At the launch in Bangkok on the 26th of August MTV Thailand will be participating.