2014 has been a challenging year for the world, with ongoing conflicts around the globe, an Ebola epidemic and continuing economic unrest; there is a lot to address in 2015. Over the past week we have seen that human traffickers have no value on life, only money. Taking cash from men, women and children trying to flee the Middle East for a better, safer life. These crimes need to be stopped and the traffickers arrested and imprisoned for life.
We know that human trafficking is a multi-billion pound global business operated by almost 100% cash. Banks have the knowledge and power to identify who is paying in these large amounts and these questions need to be asked. How can these global organisations continue to turn a blind eye to human suffering that they can stop, or at least put a block in the well established human trafficking systems. There is shamefully little being done and this is something that needs to be urgently tackled in 2015.
Last year an International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict was published - the first of its kind. This puts into place basic standards of best practice on the Documentation of Sexual Violence as a Crime under International Law. Rt. Hon William Hague MP and Angelina Jolie hope that the protocol will not only be a practical tool that is improved and strengthen over time, but also a means of inspiring continued global attention and advocacy on the critical issue.
Unfortunately our world continues to be plagued by dozens of armed conflicts that threaten the safety and security of millions of men, women and children on a daily basis. Women and girls bear the brunt of this toll. Rape is widely used as a strategic tool of war; women are sidelined in processes when decisions are being made about them and their children and they are continually treated as second class citizens. It is vital that women have a place at the peace table and actively seek a voice in the process and are encouraged and accepted by men in their society.
Women are 50% of the world’s population and have 80% of global purchasing power, yet in too many places women are still not allowed access to education or are punished for trying to secure it. Women are an integral part of the world’s economic success and it is vital that girls are educated to the highest level and their potential not ignored due to immoral practices such as child marriages and FGM.
Women must have to participate in every part of society. In parliament and the boardroom, not through quotas, but by goals. For more information on the work I do with the 30% Club, please visit http://30percentclub.org
I thank you for supporting this blog and wish you and your families a Happy New Year. Here is to progress for men, women and children everywhere in 2015!