London: Nobel Peace Prize winner and child- rights activist Kailash Satyarthi will address the issue of trafficking at a gala event here next week organised by a charity backed by Prince Charles.
The Nobel laureate will deliver the keynote address at the British Asian Trust Annual Dinner on February 3, which is themed around 'Unlocking potential in South Asia' this year.
Child Rights activist Kailash Satyarthi. Pic/PTI
"I welcome the British Asian Trust's focus on anti-trafficking initiatives. I have been globally campaigning against all forms of slavery and child labour for decades and I strongly believe that it perpetuates poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and population growth," the child rights activist said in reference to the event.
"We need to form and instill stronger legislations and all the countries and their global heads need to come together to make a commitment to abolish child trafficking and slavery. I am convinced that together we can make an impact," he added.
India alone has almost half of the world's trafficked population, with over 14 million individuals living in what is termed as modern day slavery. The British Asian Trust, founded in London in 2007 by a group of British Asian businessmen at the suggestion of the Prince of Wales, has been working to empower women and girls in the region ever since its inception.
"Some 65 per cent of the Trust's beneficiaries to date have been women and girls. On reviewing our impact, we realised that unless we spotlight some difficult and uncomfortable problems such as trafficking that affect these groups, we will never make real change happen," said Hitan Mehta, executive director of the Trust.
"The facts of the case are that approximately 80 per cent of trafficked victims are women and girls, and up to 50 per cent of these are minors. "The sex industry is almost entirely dependent on the trafficking trade, with 80 per cent of all sex workers having been trafficked. We see this as a serious issue and are determined to work with charities on the ground to prevent this crime and empower survivors," he added.
Leading Indian entrepreneurs, businessmen, and celebrities will come together to raise awareness and funds to fight trafficking as well as other areas of the Trust's core work across South Asia such as mental health, education and poverty alleviation at the event.