A campaign against human trafficking launched in Greece on November 25th, which the UN has declared as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
International non-governmental organization A21 joined forces with distinguished screenwriter and director Konstantinos Mousoulis to create an original photo shoot of prominent Greek women. An optimistic message was sent to women who have suffered, and part of the campaign is titled “Can you see me?”
A21, founded in 2008 in Thessaloniki, is currently operating in fourteen countries around the world. The name A21—Abolishing Slavery in the 21st Century—expresses the organization’s vision for a world without slavery.
The organization aims to combat human trafficking, through the development of actions to prevent, deter, and combat all types of human trafficking. It also operates a 24-hour hotline against human trafficking (1109), where one can safely be informed and advised as well report suspicious incidents.
For the campaign, Mousoulis joined forces with multi-awarded photographer Akis Douzlatzis, starring Maria Korinthiou, Errika Prezerakou, and Ifigenia Tzola, who play female victims of exploitation that managed to escape.
“Photography connects the before and after in a victim’s life. The before, the black and white where the woman lived under conditions of slavery and the after, the color where the woman breathes the air of freedom,” Mousoulis said.
Human trafficking is among the three most profitable crimes
“The aim of the campaign is to inform and make people aware that if they suspect something they should report it,” Mousoulis added. “Citizens can contribute to saving victims from conditions of exploitation and trafficking.”
Human trafficking is on the list of the three most profitable crimes in the world along with drug and arms trafficking. Over twenty million people worldwide are victims of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Half of these victims are children.
The #MeToo movement, founded by activist Tarana Burke in 2006, exploded and sparked global mobilization, creating a moment of urgency in preventing and responding to violence against women and girls.
Since then, unprecedented awareness and momentum have been created thanks to the relentless work of grassroots activists, women’s human rights defenders, and survivor advocates worldwide to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls.
At the same time, there has been a rise in anti-rights movements, including anti-feminist groups, resulting in shrinking space for civil society, a backlash against women’s rights organizations, and a rise in attacks against women human rights defenders and activists.
Supporting and investing in strong, autonomous women’s rights organizations and feminist movements is key to ending violence against women and girls.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women will mark the launch of the UNiTE campaign (November 25th to December 10th)—an initiative of sixteen days of activism concluding on the day that commemorates International Human Rights Day (December 10th).
This campaign, led by the UN Secretary-General and UN Women since 2008, aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the world, calling for global action to increase awareness, promote advocacy, and create opportunities for discussion on challenges and solutions.