This week Catherine pledged her support to ECPAT UK and their campaign to stop the trafficking of children. ECAPT UK (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) is a leading UK children's rights organization. They work with the highest levels of government but also reaches out to practitioners and those working directly with children through research, training and capacity building.
On Friday 14th August, ECPAT launched a campaign in partnership with The Body Shop UK to raise awareness of the trafficking of children in the UK. Their research shows that over a third of the public are completely unaware of the extent of trafficking in the UK. They discovered that a large proportion of the UK population believe that trafficking does not occur in their local area. One in ten Britons does not believe it is happening in this country and a frightening 34% believe that child victims of trafficking end up in foreign countries, not in Great Britain.
Catherine commented, "many issues invoke different reactions and opinions from people; however, our abhorrence towards the trafficking of children makes this an issue that unites us all. It is a sickening crime. We must do what we can to stop traffickers and protect children who right now are being bought and sold as commodities. That it even occurs is a huge stain on our society, and unfortunately one that does not get anywhere near the kind of attention it should."
"ECPAT UK is doing fantastic work to make more people aware that child trafficking is going on in our local areas. Their recent research showed that many people simply don't know how big this problem is."
Christine Beddoe, Director of ECPAT UK, said, "child trafficking is not easy to spot and not easy to talk about. The fact that the majority of all global trafficking is for sexual exploitation has created a taboo. If we are all aware, then we can all help stop children falling through the cracks in society. We can make a real difference and prevent child trafficking."
Catherine discussed this issue with Bill Heine on BBC Radio Oxford this Monday, you can listen to this interview below.