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Hastings and Rye Liberal Democrats

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Stamp Out Trafficking at Our Olympics

October 21, 2010 2:27 PM

South East Euro MP Catherine Bearder has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the threat our Olympics face of being blighted by the disgrace of Human Trafficking.

To mark EU anti-trafficking day and UK anti-slavery day, Catherine Bearder MEP invited people to learn "The Truth About Trafficking." Hosting a launch event on Saturday with speakers including Julia Immonen, founder of the charity "Sport Against Trafficking", Catherine spoke to the audience about the connection between human trafficking and sport.

Large sporting events such as previous Olympics and the World Cups in Germany and South Africa have been shown to have led to a rise in human trafficking, primarily to satisfy the demand for the sex industry.

Catherine is launching her campaign to shine a light on this often forgotten and hidden problem but is keen to point out that it is not a problem that will emerge for four weeks in the summer of 2012.

Catherine said:

"Trafficking goes on in the UK. It goes on now. Sporting events such as this increase trafficking. I want to use this campaign to make the games a matter of national pride, not to have our games soiled by human trafficking."

"Our event on Saturday threw up some great ideas as to what each one of us can do to make a difference."

"There are 647 days to go until the start of the Olympics and our work needs to begin now."

Julia Immonen, founder of "Sport Against Trafficking" said:

"Sport is meant to be about the passion, teamwork, athleticism and celebration. It should have nothing to do with this vile trade in human beings.

Even if one man, woman or child is trafficked into the UK because of our Olympics it will be one too many.

I look forward to working with Catherine Bearder on this most important of campaigns."

You can sign Catherine's petition at

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