27 January 2010 - The Blue Heart Campaign against human trafficking reached a significant milestone during the first week of the new year: 10,000 members on its Facebook group.
One of the larger anti-human trafficking groups on Facebook and one of the larger social cause groups on this issue, the Blue Heart Campaign group has gathered 10,000 people from every continent who are passionate about ending human trafficking in our time.
The number is meaningful for several reasons, beyond the sheer size. This online group allows people from extremely different walks of life - a college student in California, an artist in Berlin, a professional in the Dominican Republic and an activist in Nairobi - to come together under the Blue Heart Campaign to learn more about human trafficking, share information and encourage each other to keep up the fight.
UNODC launched the Blue Heart Campaign in March 2009 to raise awareness of the crime of human trafficking and its impact on society. It is a campaign that is open to all those who want to participate and wear the Blue Heart as a symbol of their support for this campaign and solidarity with victims of trafficking.
The open aspect of the campaign manifested itself on Facebook by group members creating applications, such as the "Blue Heart" gift that anyone can send to another person, and changing their profile pictures to the Blue Heart logo.
Human trafficking affects every country in the world, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. It is estimated that 2.4 million people are lured into forced labour as a result of human trafficking at any given time. Women and girls account for about 80 per cent of the detected victims. Child trafficking accounts for between 15 and 20 per cent of the victims.
On 5 February 2010, the United Nations Postal Administration in Vienna will issue a new personalized stamp sheet on human trafficking. The stamp sheet includes 10 stamps illustrating different manifestations of the crime, as well as the logo of the Blue Heart Campaign against human trafficking. These new stamps provide yet another opportunity for campaign supporters to raise awareness about this crime.
The Blue Heart Campaign is part of the UNODC anti-human trafficking programme. As guardian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols thereto, UNODC assists States in their efforts to implement the Trafficking in Persons Protocol.
Learn more about the Blue Heart Campaign against human trafficking at www.unodc.org/blueheart.