114,886 sign petition to UN against human trafficking

By Sophie Hong

A TOTAL of 114,886 signatures have been collected here for a petition by The Body Shop's international Stop Sex Trafficking Of Children And Young People movement.

The signatures will be presented to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council in Geneva on Sept 29, together with other signatures collected from over 65 countries, said Ms Josephine Chow, general manager of The Body Shop Singapore, during an event at The Arts House yesterday.

Held to celebrate the successful collection of signatures here, the event was attended by Body Shop staff members, campaign partners and other guests.

The movement is organised in partnership with the End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes International, the National Committee for UN Women and the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home).

While only five sex-trafficking cases were reported in Singapore last year, Home president Bridget Tan pointed out that the actual figure could be much higher.

"Women who are exploited do not want to report their cases. They see no benefit in doing so and they just want to forget about the nightmare," she said.

Ms Pia Bruce, executive director of UN Women here, added there should be more comprehensive laws against trafficking.

Globally, The Body Shop has amassed close to seven million signatures for the movement.

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