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OSCE Special Representative promotes creative anti-slavery campaigns at Scotland's Festival of Politics

( OSCE) - The OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, spoke last week at the Festival of Politics highlighting the benefits of using photography, theatre and dance in campaigns to raise awareness about the growing problem of modern-day slavery."

 


OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro (c), at the Festival of Politics hosted by the Scottish Parliament, alongside Scottish actor and director Cora Bissett (r) and Trish Davidson, founder and director of the Unchosen anti-trafficking charity, Edinburgh, 24 August 2012. (OSCE/Caraigh McGregor)

 

Arts and creativity have the power to challenge destructive stereotypes such as 'otherness' and inferiority, which are often used to justify exploitation, especially of migrant workers. Arts reinforce in every individual a sense of belonging to a single human community in every individual," Giammarinaro said at the festival, which is hosted by the Scottish Parliament.

 

The OSCE Special Representative spoke at a panel also attended by Scottish actor and director Cora Bissett and Trish Davidson, founder and director of the Unchosen anti-trafficking charity. Giammarinaro added that events such as film festivals and photographic exhibitions are an important form of outreach that can be used to help new audiences understand the reality of trafficking and the plight of trafficking victims.

 

Modern-day slavery is a growing problem, with forced labour claiming close to 21 million victims globally. According to International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates, up to 1.6 million people are trapped in forced labour, slavery and other situations involving trafficking in Central, South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, with a further 880,000 victims in the EU.

 

The eighth Scottish Festival of Politics is organized around the theme of Politics. Culture. Creativity. A Force for Positive Change. It brings together a range of prominent politicians and artists to explore the links between politics, culture and creativity.

 

This year's guests at the Festival of Politics also include former Prime Minister Gordon Brown Jose Manuel Ramos-Horta, the former president of East Timor, as well as former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell.