Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden attends a seminar on Trafficking at the UN office

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Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden attends a seminar on  Trafficking at the UN office

Discussion on trafficking in India and South Asia primarily focusing on children

As a part of the state visit, Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden together with the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde, visited UN office to attend a seminar on Trafficking in India and South Asia on December 3rd, 2019. 

Upon her arrival at the UN office, Her Majesty was greeted by UN Resident Coordinator Ms Renata Lok-Dessallien. The seminar addressed trafficking issues in India and South Asia, particularly focusing on children. Representatives from UNODC and UNICEF participated in the programme to give their expertise on the matter. Apne Aap, a grassroots organization, working towards empowering girls and women to resist and end sex trafficking, were also present. This organization was founded by 22 courageous women in prostitution, who had a vision for a world where no woman could be bought or sold.

Organized by UNICEF, the seminar discussed several imperative issues related to trafficking of children for sexual exploitation, forced labour, organ removal, bonded labour, domestic servitude, child marriage, illegal adoption, and pornography etc. 

In the beginning, there was a presentation by Ms. Deepika Naruka, regional Programme Coordinator on anti-human trafficking, UNODC, on the current state of trafficking in India and the region, and the underlying problems and root causes. Following this, there was a presentation by Mr. Soledad Herrero, Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF, on children in trafficking, followed by a presentation by Ms. Ruchira Gupta, President and Founder of Apne Aap on the organisation’s work to empower girls and women to resist and end sex trafficking by organizing marginalized women and girls.

To sensitize the audience on child trafficking, a video screening of two hard-hitting film clips took place, made by children involved in Apne Aap’s programs. Post the seminar, Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden met and interacted with the victims of trafficking and their children.

Sweden is one of the core donors to UNODC and UNICEF. In South Asia, two project components are being supported by funding from Sweden. This is being done to strengthen the response to trafficking in persons (TIP) for sexual exploitation, facilitated through the internet in South Asia and to strengthen the response to smuggling of migrants in Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.On a personal level, in 1999, Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden took the initiative of founding the World Childhood Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to work towards better living conditions for children all over the world by preventing abuse and exploitation of children. The Foundation supports a large number of projects in different countries; for instance, in Nepal, wherein the projects are aiming to support children and families who have been victims of trafficking.

Sahil Saini

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