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10 MARS 2023 — CONCERT POUR L’ERADICATION DE LA TRAITE DES ÊTRES HUMAINS AU VICTORIA HALL À GENÈVE — INTRODUCTION DE MICHEL VEUTHEY

10 MARS 2023 — CONCERT POUR L’ERADICATION DE LA TRAITE DES ÊTRES HUMAINS AU VICTORIA HALL À GENÈVE — INTRODUCTION DE MICHEL VEUTHEY
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On Fri­day, March 10th at 7:30 p.m., the Grand Con­cert to Erad­i­cate Traf­fick­ing in Per­sons took place at Vic­to­ria Hall in Gene­va. The event was orga­nized by the Catholic Parish Saint Clotilde in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Order of Mal­ta, Blue Heart (Cam­paign of UNODC for vic­tims of human traf­fick­ing), and the City of Gene­va. The Grand Con­cert was attend­ed by more than 1,200 peo­ple, includ­ing sev­er­al Ambas­sadors (among them the Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Mex­i­co and Uruguay and the Per­ma­nent Observ­er of the Sov­er­eign Order of Mal­ta, Ambas­sador M.T. Pictet Althann). Ambas­sador Jean-Phillipe Tis­sières, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Order to the Swiss Con­fed­er­a­tion, and Mrs. Johan­na de Gau­tard and Maria Clau­dia de Saint Péri­er, Chiefs of the Gene­va Sec­tion of Swiss Aux­il­iary Ser­vice of the Order of Mal­ta (SHOMS), were also in atten­dance with oth­er Mem­bers of the Order and SHOMS. Fur­ther­more, the Rec­tor of the Gene­va Uni­ver­si­ty and Colonel Mon­i­ca Bon­fan­ti, Chief of the Gene­va Police, also par­tic­i­pat­ed. She made a very pow­er­ful state­ment, announc­ing an event against human traf­fick­ing in Gene­va in September.

 

Before the Con­cert start­ed, Pro­fes­sor Michel Veuthey, the Ambas­sador of the Order of Mal­ta to Mon­i­tor and Com­bat Traf­fick­ing in Per­sons, had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to speak before the audi­ence. In this speech, the Ambas­sador high­light­ed the sever­i­ty of mod­ern slav­ery, which is an ever-grow­ing issue that we must con­tin­u­ous­ly address. The Ambas­sador cit­ed the UK’s first inde­pen­dent Anti-Slav­ery Com­mis­sion­er, Kevin Hyland, high­light­ing that “human traf­fick­ing is an ignored crime because it affects mar­gin­al­ized peo­ple, and we all ben­e­fit from this crime in some way.

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The Ambas­sador then con­tin­ued by explain­ing how con­tem­po­rary slav­ery affects mil­lions of peo­ple in dif­fer­ent forms—including through organ theft, forced labor in a vari­ety of indus­tries, the sale and abduc­tion of chil­dren, and through sex­u­al slav­ery of both chil­dren and adults. These crimes gen­er­ate more than $150 bil­lion in prof­its, serv­ing as an incen­tive for crim­i­nals. The Ambas­sador con­tex­tu­al­ized the mag­ni­tude of human traf­fick­ing by com­par­ing the prof­its to the eco­nom­ic out­put of Por­tu­gal and by com­par­ing the num­ber of peo­ple involved to the pop­u­la­tion of Spain. The also Ambas­sador dis­cussed how approx­i­mate­ly 71% of vic­tims of con­tem­po­rary slav­ery are women and girls. Fur­ther­more, Pro­fes­sor Veuthey quot­ed H.H. Pope Fran­cis on the caus­es of human traf­fick­ing, name­ly pro­duc­ers’ desire for end­less prof­its and our con­sumer cul­ture where waste is rampant.

 

Last­ly, the Ambas­sador of the Order of Mal­ta informed the audi­ence of the Order’s work to com­bat and pre­vent human traf­fick­ing. This includes the Order’s work sup­port­ing a shel­ter for women vic­tims in Nige­ria, pro­vid­ing mate­r­i­al and psy­cho­log­i­cal assis­tance to vic­tims and sur­vivors, wel­com­ing refugees at the bor­ders, sup­port­ing a pre­ven­tion cam­paign for Ukrain­ian women and chil­dren, col­lab­o­rat­ing with reli­gious con­gre­ga­tions in the field, cre­at­ing free online cours­es and sem­i­nars with inter­na­tion­al experts to increase aware­ness of this plague, and train­ing and edu­cat­ing peo­ple on how to bet­ter pre­vent and com­bat human traf­fick­ing. The Ambas­sador empha­sized the impor­tance of train­ing for gov­ern­ments and civ­il soci­ety orga­ni­za­tions to ade­quate­ly address and fight against human trafficking.

 

The Con­cert was fol­lowed by a recep­tion where we received pos­i­tive feedback.

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