Over the last two years Ruhama, ( which works with women involved in prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation), has provided assistance to 100 women who were been trafficked to Ireland for the purpose of sexual exploitation. To think that this is happening in Ireland - a relatively small country within the EU , is just terrible. Helping these women requires huge resources both in Ireland and across the EU. Fortunately, these women are now getting their lives back on track, but what about the thousands others that are still trapped being used by criminals in this appalling manner?
Article 5 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights will help to ensure that the EU is equipped to tackle this particularly horrific challenge - human trafficking. The UN has declared human trafficking to be the third most lucrative crime globally, after drug smuggling and arms trafficking. It is estimated that 1.5 million people are trafficked globally annually, of this approximately 800,000 people are trafficked across national borders, with the remainder trafficked within their own countries. One of the most targeted groups for trafficking are young women aged 18-24 from Eastern Europe. It is estimated that human trafficking is worth a whopping €36 billion in Europe alone.
A YES vote to Lisbon will not only prohibit human trafficking by law, but it will make it much easier for countries to work together to combat the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and children.