- Ozark Henry -

National Goodwill Ambassador against Human Trafficking

 

 

 

Follow our Goodwill Ambassador on...

          

 

... and learn more on how you can get involved in UNODC's  Blue Heart Campaign

 & the  United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking

 

Please see below a non-exhaustive selection of events to raise awareness on the UNODC-managed Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking and the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking. 

 

24 October 2017: Goodwill Ambassador celebrates the UN DAY @ UNODC Headquarters

Picture © UNODCSince his appointment in October 2015, UNODC's Belgian Goodwill Ambassador Ozark Henry has joined the annual UN Day celebrations marking the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. This year, Ozark Henry was invited to Vienna, to attend a special event showcasing UNODC's work through the launch of the UNODC Annual Report for 2016. More information is available here. The event was an excellent opportunity to extend the appointment of the artist's ambassadorship.  He started his journey with the UNODC Brussels Liaison Office 2 years ago, and since then has championed UNODC's work in the fight against human trafficking, through outreach events such as concerts, cine ONU screenings, media interviews, television appearances and via his social media channels. In his capacity as a UN Goodwill Ambassador, Orzak Henry has been invited on numerous occasions by Members of the Belgian Federal Government, as well as by the Belgian Monarchy, to perform and participate in panel discussions with a special focus on human trafficking at high level events. He has also teamed up with Belgian companies such as with Brussels Airlines and more recently with the Brussels public transport operator STIB-MIVB, to promote the Blue Heart Campaign. 

In recognition of his work and dedication, Mr. Jean-Luc Lemahieu, UNODC Director for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, presented a certificate of appreciation to Orzak Henry on behalf of UNODC.  H.E. Willem Van De Voorde, Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations (Vienna), described him as a strong advocate to the cause, who uses his time, talent and passion to draw attention to this silent and hidden crime.

Picture © UNODCIn the evening, as part of his ongoing commitment and fundraising initiatives, the Belgian Goodwill Ambassador performed a 'Blue Heart' charity concert sponsored by the Permanent Mission for Belgium to the UN. The concert raised 6000 euros for the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons. These contributions will provide invaluable assistance that victims need including shelter, food, medical care, legal aid, access to justice, and psycho-social support. Needless to say that we are extremely grateful and appreciative of this initiative by his Excellency the Ambassador Van de Voorde and his wonderful team! 

 

6 June 2017: #Voices4development  concert

Photo © Belgian MOFAOn the eve of the European Development Days on June 7 and 8, the most important European forum on international development, a pre event was organized: the  #Voices4development  event organized by the Belgian Development Cooperation and the European Commission. The  event, under the Patronage of  Her Majesty the Queen of the Belgians, included  keynote addresses on the Sustainable Development Goals by high-level officials such as Queen Mathilde (SDG advocate), Belgian Deputy prime minister and minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo, Commissioner Karmenu Vella, UN Assistant Secretary-General Thomas Gass, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg (SDG advocate), and the EDD youth activists. All shared their views for achieving the universal and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and sustaining peace. Belgian Deputy prime minister De Croo also moderated an inspiring and dynamic panel discussion with five SDG Advocates: Leymah Gbowee (Director, Gbowee Peace Foundation and Nobel Peace prize laureate), Jeffrey Sachs (Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University), Alaa Murabit (Doctor, the Voice of Libyan Women), Paul Polman (CEO Unilever) and Muhammad Yunus (Founder Grameen Bank Bangladesh and Nobel Peace prize laureate). This diverse group of Advocates shared their ideas and ways to promote the SDG implementation, and their experiences as agents of peace and development. They all underlined the importance of new and innovative partnerships in this challenging development agenda, and the important role the private sector has to take on in global development. It was also highlighted that women and youth must be empowered to shape the political and economic lives of their countries and communities. 

Photo © UNODC BrusselsThe event included musical sessions by the Belgian artist and UNODC Goodwill Ambassador against human trafficking, Ozark Henry, on the picture with Deputy prime minister Alexander De Croo and the UNODC Brussels team. 

 

- Opening song by Ozark Henry

- Ozark Henry interviewed by Femi Oke 

 

 

 

 

 

27 April 2017: #itsallofus

Poster © STIB In the wake of the Brussels terrorist attacks in March 2016, the Brussels public transport operator STIB-MIVB issued a compelling message by launching the  #itsallofus campaign. It is an initiative to mark solidarity with all victims of terror and hate, sending a powerful message that " all of us must stand together". One year on, renowned Belgian artist and UNODC Goodwill Ambassador Ozark Henry, has launched his 8th studio album called " Us", and on this occasion joined the #itsallofus campaign and teamed up with STIB and radio MINT, to organise a private concert in Brussels, for the enjoyment of the Brussels STIB commuters. During the event, the UNODC Brussels team distributed Blue Heart pins at the entrance of the concert venue, and Orzak Henry called on his fans, encouraging them to learn more about human trafficking through the Blue Heart Campaign saying " fighting this crime begins with understanding the crime... all together".  

UNODC Brussels was very honoured that for this occasion, STIB has featured its trademark red heart in the UN Blue to show support to the Blue Heart Campaign

 

Interview of UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for RTL INFO television

 

10 March 2017 - Payoke celebrated its 30th birthday

Payoke is one of three recognized shelters and counselling centers for the victims of human trafficking in Belgium. Patsy Sörensen, the founder of Payoke, established the shelter in Antwerp in 1987, originally fighting for the rights of prostitutes. Today, Patsy has extended the organization to not just fight for the rights of prostitutes, but for rights of all people who have been trafficked. And since its creation, Payoke has supported local authorities and organizations in more than seventy countries - to establish shelters and to advise their lawmakers to draft appropriate legislation. 

© Stijn Bonte"The Payoke Way has become an international standard for establishing shelters" said the founder on the occasion of the shelter's 30th birthday. National and International speakers attended the celebration. The Belgian Minister for Justice Koen Geens congratulated Patsy and said: "Payoke provides a multidisciplinary approach in which both police, the courts, the immigration service and the specialized centers shall be activated immediately when encountering a victim. You can be proud of these achievements".   

 

Belgian Minister for Justice Koen Geens with a Blue Heart pin 

 

  

 

© ATV Antwerpen UNODC Belgian Goodwill Ambassador Ozark Henry also addressed the academic session, and took the opportunity to present the #4minutes  project: The artist is working on a mobile audio-art installation with 3D immersive sound technology telling the story of a trafficking victim. The installation consists of a shipping container in which visitors can discover a unique composition. The experience lasts for about 4 minutes yet is so powerful that it creates an emotional reaction. When visitors leave the installation they are confronted with the fact that they have experienced what it is to be trafficked... but for #4 minutes… only !  

#4 minutes is an experience that will raise awareness for human trafficking. More to follow... 

 

02 March 2017: "She Decides"…  

On 2 March 2017, the government of Belgium hosted an international conference « She Decides » in Brussels. Governments, Civil Society Organisations, the United Nations and businesses came together to talk about women's rights and gender equality. The conference aimed at raising funds and political support for the UN and other non-governmental organisations working to give millions of women and girls in developing countries access to family planning. For this occasion, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo invited Ozark Henry to join forces in his capacity as the UNODC Goodwill Ambassador against Human Trafficking. The artist raised his voice for the She Decides Initiative and stated that gender equality and women's rights (SDG 5) are critical and essential for global sustainable development.  

- Goodwill Ambassador statement - video

- UNODC - SDG 5

- She Decides Initiative 

 

31.01.2017 - Release of the 'Music To Inspire - Artists UNited Against Human Trafficking' album

Over 65 renowned artists and dignitaries from around the world have collaborated with Rukus Avenue to participate in the " Music To Inspire - Artists UNited Against Human Trafficking" triple album that benefits the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, managed by UNODC. This is a collective fight by the music community to make a social statement and to fight human trafficking. The album "Music To Inspire - Artists UNited Against Human Trafficking", a 60+ track collection of inspiring music, was officially released at an event at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on January 31, 2017. 

Here the list of participants - including UNODC Goodwill Ambassador Ozark Henry with his song " Maybe" - that are featured on this project. " We are empowered with one of the most significant collections of artists to ever come together for a charitable cause, and it is our hope that we bring awareness, resources, and an impetus for change to end human trafficking in our world" said Sammy Chand, Executive Producer of the "Music To Inspire" series. 

All proceeds from the " Music To Inspire - Artists UNited Against Human Trafficking " album will benefit the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, as one of the largest unified fronts of artists ever assembled for a charitable cause. The goal is to not only uplift the victims of one of the world's most profitable crimes, but to also bring social awareness, so change can be made in communities to stop this from persisting.  

The album is available here: Amazon  -   ITunes  -   Google Play    

Photo credit UNODC Brussels

 

Ozark Henry with H.E. Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly and with Sammy Chand, Executive Producer of the "Music To Inspire" series. 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

10 January 2017 - SOLD, a cine-ONU success at the BOZAR 

SOLD is a feature film adaptation of the novel by Patricia McCormick. The film tells the true story, of a girl called Lakshmi who journeys from a pastoral, rural village in Nepal to a gritty brothel/prison called 'Happiness House' in Kolkata, India. Through one extraordinary girl's story, SOLD illustrates the brutality of child trafficking, which affects millions of children around the globe every year.  The UNODC 2016 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, released on 21 December 2016, reveals that almost a third of trafficking victims are children. 

The UNODC Brussels Office partnered with the EESC and other UN agencies (UNRIC, UNFPA, UNICEF and ILO) to bring this powerful film to the BOZAR in Brussels and Ciné-ONU fans. A panel discussion on Human Trafficking and efforts to fight the crime and support the victims, followed the screening. The discussion was moderated by Goedele Liekens, UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador and TV personality. UNODC's Goodwill Ambassador and panel discussant Ozark Henry, stated that the problem presents itself closer to home than one would imagine: " We witness human trafficking way more than we think, it is all around us... It's part of a cultural thing and you don't understand what it is. It's all about money, big money, and it's about inequality ". The event was a huge success. Madi Sharma, member of the EESC, closed the panel discussion by appealing to the 500 participants, all wearing a Blue Heart pin, for their support to the cause and quoting the famous words of Mahatma Gandhi " Be the change that you wish to see in the world ."

The handout and pictures of the event 

To learn more about human trafficking: 

The 50 for Freedom Campaign (ILO)

The Blue Heart Campaign (UNODC)

United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking (UNODC)

The 2016 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons (UNODC)     

 

6 January 2017 - A dream that never stops... 

Photo credit Cooper SeykensOur Goodwill Ambassador Ozark Henry released his new single " A dream that never stops " today ! Through his music he conveys a strong message: " I wonder why we commit ourselves so much to protect our borders, rather than our values...". The artist reflects on the choices we make in a time of great changes: " A Dream That Never Stops is about the choices we have and make in the challenging times that are ahead of Us. It expresses the hope that we'll have the courage to face reality and to do what it takes to save our climate, our planet, our dignity and our humanity, before words could actually start destroying what you worked so hard to create: A DREAM THAT NEVER STOPS ". 

The UNODC Brussels team loves his new song ! Let's hope the dream never stops... 

 

 

15 December 2016 - Music to Inspire the fight against human trafficking 

Music to InspireThe UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking, managed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has partnered with music label Rukus Avenue​ in a landmark project called ' Music to Inspire'. This joint initiative by a group of 30 global artists - including our Goodwill Ambassador against Human Trafficking - Ozark Henry - had come together to make a statement against this crime through their music. All proceeds of this album, which will be released worldwide on 31 January 2017, will go towards the Voluntary Trust Fund. Watch a video of Ozark Henry's song included in the project.  

More to be followed... 

 

 

 

 

2 December 2016 - The Ministers of Justice of the Benelux want to strengthen cooperation in the fight against trafficking in human beings

Photo credit Benelux SecretariatAt the invitation of the Benelux Union, our Goodwill Ambassador participated in a conference on the fight against human trafficking. Justice Minister of Belgium Koen Geens, Justice Minister of Luxemburg Félix Braz, and Alternate Ambassador of the Netherlands in Luxembourg, Gerda Vrielink, signed a declaration of intent on cooperation in the fight against trafficking in human beings. In the declaration, the Ministers confirmed their willingness to strengthen cooperation of the three countries, with particular attention to the care of victims. This cooperation involves the recognized and specialised reception centres for victims, police, labour inspection services, the immigration office, judicial authorities and integration services. Ministers want to guarantee victim assistance through a multidisciplinary approach. More here (French).      

 

29 November 2016 - Their Majesties King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium hosted a concert with the National Orchestra of Belgium and our Goodwill Ambassador

Photo Credit Robbe DemuynckAt the invitation of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, Their Majesties King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium paid a state visit to the Netherlands from 28 to 30 November 2016. Our Royal Family was accompanied by Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs Reynders, Minister-President Vervoort of the Brussels-Capital Region, Minister-President Bourgeois of Flanders, Minister-President Magnette of Wallonia and Minister-President Paasch of the German-speaking Community. King Willem-Alexander hosted a state banquet for his Belgian guests at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, and in return, Their Majesties King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium hosted an evening concert with the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Federal Opera House of Belgium La Monnaie - De Munt and UNODC's Goodwill Ambassador Ozark Henry in the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, in Amsterdam. Remarking on the event, Ozark Henry said " It was a privilege and an honour to represent Belgium in presence of Their Majesties  - and to share the stage with talented musicians ". The artist also reflected that " The Royal Family represents unity in a period when division is a very difficult issue, which is why I find it important to cherish the few remaining symbols representing unity".  

  • Video - VRT nieuws (Dutch)

 

19 November - Art has always been one of the most powerful means of telling and sharing emotions, stories... 

Photo credit NINA" Art is one of the most powerful advocacy tools" says Goodwill Ambassador Ozark Henry. In his latest interview with the popular Flemish newspaper "Het Laatste Nieuws" (in the weekly supplement of the NINA magazine), he gave an emotional and heartfelt interview about his engagement as a Goodwill Ambassador in the fight against human trafficking. He also shared his frustrations about the obstacles and the difficulties to mobilise people's attention to this form of exploitation which is extremely difficult to detect due to its hidden nature. " It is too easy to blind ourselves, more needs to be done" says the artist, who uses his fame and influence to advocate and raise global awareness on this despicable crime. He calls for more involvement with the cause. 

In the interview, he also mentions his ambitious project: the " 3D sound installation container project". The artists plans to create a 3D sound technology container in order to immerse the public in the emotional reality of victims of human trafficking, to create empathy. The container would travel to music festivals all over the world. To be followed... 

Article here (Dutch).   

 

24 October 2016 - Today we celebrated the 71st  anniversary of the United Nations ! 

Photo credit CIFAL Flanders - UNITAROn the occasion of the 71st  anniversary of the United Nations,   CIFAL Flanders / UNITAR  hosted, in collaboration with United Nations Association Flanders ( VVN) and the United Nations Regional Information Centre ( UNRIC), the UN Day in the Flemish Parliament. In his opening speech,  Mr  Geert Bourgeois, Minister-president of the Flemish Government, briefed on the cooperation between the UN and Flanders. Senior UN officials, Director of the ILO  Claire Courteille-Mulder, Head of UNIDO  Christophe Yvetot,  Chief of Mission of the IOM-UN Migration Agency  Laura Palatini, and  Ambassador Bénédicte Frankinet, formerly Belgium's Permanent Representative to the UN, were invited to reflect on the mandates of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the challenges for the coming years. The High Level Panel was followed by a statement from the Belgian artist Ozark Henry, the UNODC national Goodwill Ambassador against Human Trafficking, who urged for intensified action to combat human trafficking. He also recalled that through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the International Community has committed itself to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, to the provision of access to justice for all and to the building of effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels (SDG 16).  "We have collectively committed to combat all forms of organized crime, including trafficking in persons. Let's give victims hope and justice". 

Read UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's message  here

 

1 October 2016 - Culture to break down the walls @ GAEL magazine

Photo credit GAEL MagazineMs Hadja Lahbib, who  presents the RTBF's TV news as well as cultural programmes on Arte Belgique, and who is GAEL's GUEST for the GAEL October edition, invited our Goodwill Ambassador to join a meaningful discussion on the "power of culture, the influence of artists". Ozark Henry affirms during the interview that " Human trafficking happens right here... in front of us, but it is a hidden and silent crime, which makes it difficult to break down the wall of silence and taboo".  As an artist, he uses his fame, influence and raises voice for the victims of this crime.  

Full story here

 

29 September 2016 - UNODC Goodwill Ambassador Ozark Henry meets with Benelux shelters for victims of trafficking 

Photo credit Benelux SecretariatOzark Henry was invited by the Luxembourg Presidency and the General Secretariat of the Benelux Union to participate in a one-day training on human trafficking. The training focused mainly on the reception, the support and the protection of the victims. Specialised shelters for victims of trafficking  and Ministries of Security and Justice from the three countries (Benelux) participated in the different workshops. In Belgium there are 3 reception centers for victims of trafficking: Payoke in Antwerp, Pag - Asa in Brussels and Surya in Liège. These centers provide shelter, counseling, psychological, medical and legal assistance. They work with educators, social workers and criminologists. Our Goodwill Ambassador seized the opportunity once again to insist that it is crucial to educate ourselves about human trafficking, to be responsible... and to join the Blue Heart Campaign for updates and news on Human Trafficking. 

 

30 July 2016 - Ozark Henry joins us to mark the 2016 World Day against Trafficking in Persons

Ozark HenryOn the 2016 World Day against Trafficking in Persons, UNODC seeks to promote a better understanding and a greater engagement throughout the international community on the vulnerabilities that lie behind every case of human trafficking and the exploitation suffered by every victim of this crime. Vulnerability, in all its different forms, is central to how trafficking is understood and to how it can be tackled. Human trafficking is increasingly linked to global concerns related to migration and the large movement of refugees and migrants, together with the impact of conflict or natural disasters, and the resultant, multiple vulnerabilities that many people face to abuse and exploitation. There is much work to do in this regard, as it appears very likely that most people are never identified or assisted as trafficking victims throughout their ordeals. 

Learn more about the World Day against Trafficking in Persons and the many actions you can take to help, in the below interviews with our Goodwill Ambassador. 

 

26 February 2016 - Ozark Henry talks @ Google NYC about the future of music...

GWA at Google ... wearing our Blue Heart pin! Our Goodwill Ambassador was invited at Google's headquarters in New York to present his vision of the future of music in a 'Talk @ Google'; The Belgian artist attracted the attention of Google with its revolutionary use of a new Auro-3D immersive sound on his latest album 'Paramount'. This new technology allows the reproduction of a three dimensional acoustic space, which immerses the listener in sound coming from every direction and offers a completely natural listening experience. For 'Paramount', the artist placed the 90 musicians of the National Orchestra of Belgium in a circle around the listener, offering everyone the best seat in the house!

Ozark Henry took the opportunity to present his idea of creating a travelling container project with an immersive sound system for UNODC's Blue Heart Campaign. In his role as Goodwill Ambassador against human trafficking he wants to create awareness on the issue. More to follow on the container project... 

 

28 January 2016 - Brussels Airlines supports the Blue Heart Campaign in Africa 

Every two years, the Brussels Airlines' b.foundation for Africa organises its charity ride " Bike for Africa" project, a mountain bike trip for Brussels Airlines employees and partners to raise funds for the good cause. This year's edition took place in Senegal and Gambia. Amongst the participants was our national Goodwill Ambassador. All participants (70 bikers) wore the Blue Heart pin during the charity ride.  Thank you Brussels Airlines ! More in the b.inspired by Brussels Airlines inflight magazine (March - April edition page 110). 

GWA and Youssou N'DourThe Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour welcomed the Brussels Airlines delegation at the Dakar airport, and he met with our Goodwill Ambassador who offered him a Blue Heart pin ! And our 2 colleagues from the Dakar office, Jeffery Bawa - communication specialist, and Issa Saka - expert in human trafficking, also met with Ozark Henry to explore ideas for futur awareness initiatives in Dakar... 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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