Graham Watson MEP

Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar

A local champion with an international reputation

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Think before you buy: let's stop human trafficking

This week Lib Dem Euro-MP for South West England Sir Graham Watson MEP hosted an event in the European Parliament about human trafficking entitled "Think before you buy".

The event served to highlight that one of the ways of tackling the trafficking of human beings for forced labour, prostitution or indeed any other kinds of degrading work is to tackle the demand for those products and services.

The event was co-organised by CARE for Europe and the World Youth Alliance.

After the event, Sir Graham commented:

"The event served to show how the choices we make in the shops have a real impact on people's lives. Has the cotton from this t-shirt been picked by forced labour?"

"Eighty percent of all human trafficking worldwide is for sexual exploitation. If those demanding such services knew how the people involved are treated, they might just think twice before buying sex."

"Britain has a proud record of leading Europe in fighting human trafficking, bringing the traffickers to justice and releasing those held as slaves.

David Fieldsend, the Manager of CARE for Europe from Camborne in Cornwall said:

"We think it is important to prevent the obscenity of human trafficking from being a case of 'out of sight, out of mind'. There is a clear causal link between our purchasing patterns in Europe and the exploitation of forced and child labour from other parts of the world, as well condemning women and girls trafficked here to sexual servitude in prostitution"

"The recent adoption by the EU of a new directive on combatting human trafficking is one ray of hope on the horizon, but it needs now to be effectively implemented at the national level. It is to be hoped that whatever negativity there may be about other matters European in the UK, it will not be allowed to get in the way of effective law enforcement in this area"