The OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, addressed the roundtable meeting "Trafficking in Women and Girls" on the occasion of International Women’s Day at UNESCO on 9 March 2012 in Paris.
Giammarinaro said that cultural factors, social norms and patriarchal attitudes are concurrent root causes of women’s vulnerability to all forms of trafficking - not only for sexual exploitation, but also for domestic servitude and forced labour.
“Women are not targeted by traffickers because they are weak - I have met extraordinarily courageous women, capable of escaping from their traffickers, and finding their own way to a decent life despite threats of retaliation,” said Giammarinaro.
“Women are targeted because patriarchal social norms make them vulnerable, and cause inequalities and an imbalance of power. Women’s empowerment is thus a precondition for the prevention and eradication of modern slavery”.
More information on the roundtable meeting can be found at UNESCO’s website.