Salvation Army Raises Human Trafficking Awareness at World Cup

LONDON – The Salvation Army has launched a campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking at the World Cup and make known that, although prostitution may be legal in many parts of Germany, sex with a trafficked woman is rape.

Moreover, U.K. citizens can be prosecuted for illegal sex acts such as sex with a trafficked woman in the country as well as abroad.

Volunteers for The Salvation Army traveled to Old Trafford for the England versus Hungary match and distributed around 10,000 postcards with hard-hitting slogans including “You chose her. She definitely didn’t choose you.” and “Offensive action? Does it offend you?” The postcards contain facts about trafficking as well as 24-hour helpline numbers for anyone who suspects a woman is trafficked and needs advice.

A U.N. report on human trafficking issued last month listed Germany as one of the top destinations for women, mostly between 18 and 25, who are secreted across borders from countries like Russia, Ukraine, and Bulgaria. A 2005 U.S. State Department found that Russia alone accounted for one-quarter of the 1,235 victims of forced prostitution reported in Germany in 2003.

The main venue in Berlin now has a 3,000-meter fenced-in area filled with “performance boxes,” equipped with condoms and showers.

The sex trade comprises the biggest proportion of the European trafficking industry, notes the National Board of Catholic Women in England and Wales.

Anti-sex slave activists point out that “trafficked women dare not speak about the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual violence done to them day after day.”

In order to make fans aware of the situation and gain support on the issue, 40 Salvation Army volunteers from the U.K. traveled to Germany to distribute 90,000 postcards to World Cup fans in Germany.

“The Salvation Army wants to make people traveling to Germany this summer aware that if they choose to go to a brothel, they may be choosing to pay for sex with a trafficked woman. Sex with a trafficked woman is rape and is an illegal and immoral activity,” commented Duncan Parker of The Salvation Army.

“Every year over 2 million people are trafficked across international borders for the purposes of exploitation, whether that be in the form of commercial sex, domestic service or manual labor. Many trafficked victims are stolen from their homes, many are sold by their families, and many are lured away from their homes by the prospect of a well-paid job or a better life in another country. All of these people are being exploited against their will.”

Human trafficking is the third largest illegal industry in the world after the drugs and arms trade, with more than 2 million people trafficked every year.