Monday, May 21, 2007

Special: Janice Raymond, Risking Her Life to Fight Sex Trafficking

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND -- Janice Raymond is about to receive a major award for her outstanding contribution to the war against people trafficking - but she is not a popular woman. Hate mail and death threats are part of her everyday life, and such is the uprising of sheer malevolence towards her from all parts of the world that she cannot give out her address or telephone number for fear it will appear on the internet. Even having her photograph taken is a risk.

Nevertheless, this extraordinary woman is a shining light and an outstanding inspiration to thousands. Fighting to protect women and children from sexual exploitation is her life's work, and she is not about to stop now. Dr Raymond is co-executive director of the Coalition Against the Trafficking of Women (CATW) and professor emeritus of Women's Studies and Medical Ethics at the University of Massachusetts, and she is in Glasgow for the first time to receive, at Glasgow City Chambers tomorrow evening, the Zero Tolerance International Woman Award, one of a series of awards launched last year by the Scottish charity to recognise those women working to prevent violence against women.

Raymond, who is half Irish, was pivotal in bringing about a new UN definition of trafficking that embraces the often ambiguous concept of consent in order to protect all victims of trafficking - including children, who are, she says, "becoming much more of a market"...


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