Living in a small village in Nigeria, Blessing Okoedion was promised a job in Europe as a computer engineer— only to fall into the hands of human traffickers in Italy.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), an estimated 40.3 million people worldwide were trafficked in 2016. This crime earns profits of roughly $150 billion a year for traffickers as a whole, with $99 billion coming from commercial sexual exploitation. While the majority of sexual trafficking happens in the Asia Pacific region, cases are present in every region of the world, with females constituting 99% of its victims.
In this episode, we follow Blessing’s journey — from an aspiring doctor to a woman forced into prostitution currently fighting for other victims and survivors. On the show, we talk about the challenges of combatting modern slavery, the solutions needed to address its root causes, and the support needed to advocate for victims.
Featuring policy and advocacy insights from experts: Katharine Bryant, Lead of European Engagement at the Walk Free Foundation and co-author of the Global Slavery Index, and Ilias Chatzis, Chief at the Human Trafficking and Migrant Section at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
The Elders Special Segment Guest: Graça Machel, International Advocate for Women’s and Children’s Rights, and Founding Member of The Elders
Host: Hazami Barmada, Founder and CEO, Humanity Lab Foundation.
This episode is made possible with the support of Vodafone Americas Foundation. To learn more about their programs and how you can support their network of partners, visit vodafone-us.com
Finding Humanity is a production of Humanity Lab Foundation and Hueman Group Media.
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