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Help to stop human trafficking: "Buy Responsibly"



"What's behind the things we buy?" The thought-provoking question begets consumers to take a deeper look into what they are really buying. That question is the slogan of the "Buy Responsibly" campaign, an initiative of UN.GIFT's Steering Committee Member, IOM.


The campaign aims to create a change in behaviour by urging consumers to play a greater role in ending human trafficking. It works off the premise that "when you purchase a product at your local shopping centre, you are supporting the way it was produced. If the product is the result of someone's forced labour, you are encouraging the company which has relied on forced labour to continue relying on forced labour."


The uniqueness of "Buy Responsibly" is its focus on the demand side of human trafficking, an often neglected yet crucial component of anti-trafficking efforts. If consumers reject products and services that come from trafficked and exploited labour then this will effectively quell the profit that comes from exploitation.


The campaign offers tangible strategies to consumers, such as writing directly to stores and asking about the origin of their products; convincing friends of the importance to buy responsibly; researching the practices of particular companies and industries; and joining a campaign that is related to a specific or favourite brand that works to improve the working conditions of the people at the bottom of the supply chain.


A super-sized shopping cart flipped upside down with victims trapped inside represents this campaign, currently making its way across Europe: stopping next in Vienna's Museumsquartier from 14 - 19 October 2010.


The Vienna kick-off will take place on the15 October 2010 at 13.15 in the Baroque Suite C, Museumsquartier. Speakers include Deputy Director General of IOM, Laura Thompson; Austrian National Coordinator on Combating Trafficking of Human Beings, Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger; and Head of the Centre of Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling, Austrian Criminal Intelligence Service, Colonel Gerald Tatzgern.


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