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Used in Europe

Written 20/10/2014

HopeNow launches the campaign Used in Europe to raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking and labour exploitation in Europe. The campaign is made in cooperation with 28 european anti-trafficking NGOs, organized by La Strada International.

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What’s going on?
As consumers, we hear more each day about the origins of the products we use. We have learned that there can be a lot of suffering related to the production of the things we buy, resulting from labour exploitation and the trafficking of people.

We may believe that severe labour exploitation only happens in the Global South and not in Europe. But sadly, our continent is far from a safe haven when it comes to the protection of labour rights. How do we know this?
European NGOs deal with cases of human trafficking and labour exploitation on a regular basis, reports of forced labour sporadically appear in the media and, each year, national authorities register officially identified victims of human trafficking. In 2012, the International Labour Organisation estimated that 880,000 people are in a situation of forced labour in the EU alone.

By recognising what is happening we can begin to change it; we can move towards a more humane and fair way of producing our goods. Therefore La Strada International, together with anti-trafficking NGOs all over Europe, aims to increase the awareness of the issue by showing what’s going on, right here in Europe.

Visit our website to find out what’s happening in your country: www.usedineurope.com 

Taking Action
Due to unique factors within each country and the many forms of labour exploitation, there is no quick fix or simple solution. Eliminating human trafficking requires concerted action by governments, businesses and individuals within the communities where it exists.

What can YOU do to help raise awareness?

  • You can share our campaign website via Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
  • You can tell your friends and family about the labour exploitation and human trafficking occurring in Europe, including your own country.
  • You can support campaigns that target brands exposed for human rights abuses.
  • You can support campaigns that put pressure on governments, so that they comply with international obligations to prevent human rights abuses by the business world.
  • You can become a more conscious consumer. Ask about the origins of products, look for information and signs of unfair labour. Do not think that just because a product says it’s ‘made in Europe’, no exploitation has taken place.
  • You can check how people are recruited for the services you use, for example who does your housework or who is your nanny? Are her/his rights respected? Does she/he receive decent wages and have proper job protection?
  • When you go to work, ask yourself: ‘Is my company involved in preventing the problem?

To find out more about what governments and businesses should be doing, visit www.usedineurope.com

Human trafficking occurs when people are recruited, coerced or deceived into work or services which they are not free to leave. People become subject to hazardous working conditions, intimidation, physical and psychological abuse. Trafficked people often live under deplorable conditions with limited or no freedom. In many cases their passports are taken away and they are bound by debt.

Contact
For questions, please e-mail us at info@hopenow.dk (in danish) or info@lastradainternational.org (in english).
To find an anti-trafficking NGO in Denmark, visit www.hopenow.dk or www.usedineurope.com

This campaign is co-funded by the Prevention of and Fight Against Crime Programme of the European Union

Used in Europe is a campaign to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking and labour exploitation in Europe.

This campaign is initiated by La Strada International together with 28 European anti-trafficking NGOs.

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