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de Brún calls for EU Commission to back campaign against forced prostitution ahead of World Cup Finals

15 March, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today called upon the European Commission to lend its support to a recently launched campaign against forced prostitution.

The Campaign, 'Red Card to Forced Prostitution' has been launched in advance of this summer's World Cup Finals tournament in Germany, where it is believed that a significant number of people, particularly women and children, will be forced into prostitution.

Ms de Brún has today supported a motion put before the European Parliament by the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, calling for world sporting organisations including FIFA and UEFA to back the campaign. The motion also calls on the Commission and Member States to launch a Europe-wide campaign during international sports events to inform and educate the general public, and particularly sportsmen and women, sports fans and supporters, about the scale of the problem of forced prostitution and trafficking in human beings.

Speaking from Strasbourg Ms de Brún said:

"In a 2005 'Trafficking in Persons' report it was estimated that approximately 600,000 to 800,000 men, women, and children are trafficked across international borders each year. Approximately 80 percent are women and girls and up to 50 percent are minors. This motion to the European Parliament points to the fact that at 'every major sporting event where a large number of people gather, there is a spectacular temporary rise in the demand for sexual services'

"Many trafficked women will travel to other countries with a promise of work, yet when they arrive find that the promised employment does not exist. My hope is that having received the backing of the European Parliament today, the 'Red Card to Forced Prostitution' campaign will also get backing and a positive practical response from the European Commission, Member States, sporting authorities and high profile sportsmen and women.

"I want to back the calls made in the motion for the establishment of a European wide campaign aimed at informing both the general public and the potential victims of trafficking about the existence and practice of people-trafficking and sexual exploitation. The European Commission can play its part with the Member States, through funding, co-ordinating and driving such a campaign forward." ENDS

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