Date of Meeting: 16 March 2017

Meeting Organizer: 25 member states of the Group of Friends of the Family jointly with Civil Society for the Family

CSW Delegates Present: Anne Gregora, Anne Makumi, Major Heather Grinsted

Reporter: Major Heather Grinsted

Which SDG does this topic cover? 5, 8, 16

Type of meeting: CSW Side Event

Brief summary of presentation of information made

Theme of protecting and empowering women and girls in the context of preventing them from becoming the targets of exploitation and the irreplaceable role of the family in helping girls reach their full potential. 

The event highlighted USA national experience that combats exploitation and trafficking in persons, rescue victims and assist them in the recovery process.

Women and girls are often made vulnerable because of their precarious family situation and family members who are prime traffickers, whether it be war, terrorism, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, divorce, and family breakdown, physical violence or other causes.

Some statements made during the presentation:

  • The family is a fundamental unit of society and still not recognized in its full importance.
  • The family needs to input into strategies and policies.
  • Family is a powerful shield.
  • The family is a small economic unit needing support. It is the responsibility of the state to support family.
  • Educating the family is an essential tool in promoting gender equality.
  • Programs and policies should enforce zero tolerance against Human Trafficking.

Stories were presented in a very powerful way by a person reading a letter from a parent of a girl who had been trafficked on the internet using and also from a survivor.

I am Jane Doe, a film telling the continuing fight to hold the on line classifieds site liable for the extreme harm resulting from some of its escort ads, was profiled. It is spearheaded by a group of mothers whose daughters were sold into sex slavery before they were 16.

The survivor’s story was a traumatic account of grooming, fear, child sexual exploitation, threat, abuse and sadness. Many people missed the signs of trafficking and it was taking place next door to her home. Mothers, teachers, police, social workers, should be better equipped to look for signs. 

Survivors can be strong, they have endured so much and they can go back into the field and get others out.

Chilling survivor statement, “No one came looking because I did not go missing”.

What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?

Human Trafficking does not necessarily involve being transported from one locality to another or from one country to another.  It can be taking place in our home location. Raising awareness and education on looking for signs can take place in our corps situations across the world.  

Web links for more information

Tags: United Nations, SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, SDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG5: Gender Equality