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UNIS/CP/476
1 April 2004

UNODC Launches Local Media Campaign in over
40 Countries to Assist Victims of Human Trafficking 

VIENNA, 1 April (UN Information Service) -- As part of its global human trafficking awareness campaign, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has joined forces with its partners in over 40 countries to produce customized versions of its latest video spots. Each of the versions includes a local telephone hotline number where victims can receive assistance and concerned citizens can find out what they can do to help. 

“By adding the hotline telephone number of its NGO and government partners to the videos, UNODC is helping these organizations maximize their resources in order to reach a larger number of people,“ said Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of UNODC.

The latest UNODC video spots target countries and victims at the end of the trafficking route. Earlier spots in the campaign were designed to raise awareness about the human trafficking issue by focusing on the trafficking of women for sexual exploitation and on the trafficking of men, women and children for bonded and forced labour.

Human trafficking is a growing global phenomenon, with 800,000 to 900,000 people trafficked across international borders annually, according to reports from the United Nations and the United States Department of State. The United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, which supplements the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, promotes international cooperation to prevent and fight trafficking.

The UN Protocol calls on countries to protect and assist victims in legal proceedings and provide social assistance in areas such as counselling, housing, education and health care. Additionally, the Protocol points to the need to improve the social conditions that lead to human trafficking and to raise awareness about the issue through public information, such as UNODC’s television campaign.

The video spots can be viewed at www.unodc.org/unodc/en/multimedia.html

UNODC has established partnerships in the following countries: Argentina, Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China/Hong Kong, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, Georgia, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Serbia and Montenegro (3 partners), Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Spain, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Ukraine, USA, Uzbekistan.

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