January 21, 2006
"I think that the world of arts ... should firstly be aware of what we're talking about, and that's the main problem," Jarre, speaking in English, told an Athens conference on human trafficking.
Better-informed artists would then be "messengers to get a kind of domino effect," said Jarre, whose album sales number in the tens of millions.
Conference organizers said some 12.3 million people worldwide were victims of forced labour, some 2.4 million of them having been trafficked - mostly for sexual exploitation.
Dr. Aleya Hammad, Khaled Janahi, Jean-Michel Jarre, Marianna Vardinoyannis, David Arkless, M. Shafik Gabr and Michel Orloff.
An international campaign titled End Human Trafficking Now, kicked off in Athens on Monday bringing royalty, politicians and artists to the Greek capital.
Attendees included Sweden s Queen Sylvia, Queen of Bahrain Sabika, former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble, French composer Jean Michel Jarre and others.
The campaign, organised by the Suzanne Mubarak Women's International Peace Movement, aims to send the message that step by step, atrocious crimes committed in the name of corporate profits must be stopped.
UNESCO's Good Will Ambassador and board member of the Women's International Peace Movement organisation Marianna Vardinoyannis described Monday's meeting as one of historical importance and an honour for the country, since it is from Greece that the message aimed at rallying the international business community in the fight against human trafficking is being sent.
On her part, Mubarak urged the business community to put an end to this horrific phenomenon, which according to her, is not only unethical but one of the greatest crimes against humanity.
Same report from Bahrain News agency
Her Highness Shaikha Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa attended in Athens today the roundtable of business community against trafficking of human beings, organized by the Suzanne Mubarak Women International Peace Movement and the Global Coalition Women Defending Peace. The roundtable focused on the magnitude of the issue and discussed its ethical principles and raised recommendations to combat the phenomenon. The main outcome of the Athens roundtable was issuing the ethical principles against trafficking in human beings, especially women and children, which will be presented in the World Economic Forum that starts in Davos on January 25. The round table was attended by the Queen of Sweden, Dr. Boutros Boutros- Ghali, former UN Secretary General ,UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyannis, member of the Board of Directors of the Movement and. Her Highness Shaikha Sabeeka, in a statement issued on the occasion highlighted the necessity of combating this phenomenon hoping that the business community on the international level and through this gathering would further cooperate with concerned parties to eradicate human trafficking in the world. Her Highness added that the ethical principles issued in Athens could help bring an end to the misery and agony of the less fortunate, in an attempt to protect the rights of all. From the business community, participants included representatives of Chief executive officers from the private sector and other members of non governmental organizations in this field. The main aim of the gathering was for the business community to launch a set of ethical principles to fight human trafficking, in particular that of women and children. At the world economic forum in Davos on January 25, CEOs will share the outcome of the meeting, namely the ethical principles, as an essential means of alerting the global business community. The business community expressed concern that the scourge of trafficking in human beings inflicts enormous suffering in the world, adding that the community considers unacceptable that millions of people are treated as commodities and slaves and therefore denied their basic human rights and dignity. The business community welcomed the efforts of the international community to eradicate human trafficking, through public-private partnership in addition to recognizing the significant potential of the business community to contribute to the global fight against human trafficking. The business community issued several ethical principles which explicitly demonstrated the position of zero tolerance towards trafficking in human beings, especially women and children ,develop a corporate strategy for anti-trafficking policy, ensure the community's compliance with the anti- trafficking policy and encourage business partners to apply ethical principles against human trafficking. Mubarak said the trafficking of human beings is a problem that man has inflicted on other human beings ,similar to the endless suffering and pain caused by wars and conflicts. She added that it is a problem that should never have been and the roundtable was not just organized because the issue of human trafficking is immoral but because it is a crime against humanity. Her excellency added that the world needs to send a clear signal that the state of affairs will not be tolerated and it is by collective responsibility that human trafficking could be eradicated. Trafficking in human beings is considered to be the third largest and fast growing criminal activity in the world. The international labor organization ILO estimates that more than two million people are trafficked across international borders every year, the majority being women and children. Forced labour, according to ILO raises profits of $32 billion a year. Dr. Boutros Ghali praised the initiatives Bahrain has taken through laying a national strategy to prevent this phenomenon. He added that it is essential for both government and non-government organization to work together to combat this phenomenon that impacts millions of people every year . Bahrain has taken major steps in preventing human- trafficking among which was the establishment of a task force of representatives from different ministries that have laid down a strategy to help eliminate any causes that might lead to human trafficking in the Kingdom. Other steps Bahrain has taken include a plan to launch the Safe Houses project as well as hotlines to receive and deal with work complaints. Governmental and non-governmental organisations co- operate to increase awareness on the importance of respecting the rights of foreign workers and protecting them against abuse. The authorities are also looking into a law that criminalises human-trafficking. In 2004, Bahrain acceded to the UN Convention Against Trans-national Organised Crime and the Protocol Against Trafficking in Persons, reflecting its international recognition of the issue and its belief in combating it.
Author : Athens News Agency