September 26, 2016: who's who of Adelaide's business world gather to shine a light on child trafficking

Hundreds of local business people, high school students and supporters of women’s rights will gather in Adelaide tomorrow to call for an end to human trafficking.

The fifth annual Plan International Australia's Because I am a Girl breakfast will be held Tuesday 27 September at the Adelaide Oval. The Women for Girls Adelaide Committee Chairperson Leanne Muffet said more than 400 corporate, students, schools and supporters will attend.

“These are passionate people, coming together to share our vision of creating a world where gender equality is central to achieving long-term change,” Ms Muffet said.

“We choose trafficking because it is such a hidden issue with a devastating impact. Right now, 27 million people are essentially living as slaves worldwide. Children and girls living in poverty are particularly vulnerable to being forced into unpaid labour or sex work.  We believe no-one deserves to life this kind of life and we can all play a role to reduce the rate of trafficking worldwide.”

Sophie Shugg, Plan International Australia’s Senior Child Rights and Protection Advisor has worked extensively in child protection in Nepal, Pakistan and on the Thai-Burma boarder. She said an estimated 11,000 girls are trafficked every year from Nepal into India and other countries, often for enforced sex work.

“Sometimes girls are deceived by false offers of arranged marriages. In many situations, parents simply do not know that they are giving up their daughters for a life in the sex trade,” Ms Shugg said.

“Trafficking girls is a horrific violation of human rights. Stripped of a family, a community, an education, a trafficked child is sentenced to a life of violence, exploitation, and servitude.

“Plan is currently working in Nepal to educate families and community members on the risks of child trafficking, and to promote government leadership to prevent it. We also work to rescue children and create a safe haven through rehabilitation centres to help children who have fallen victim to trafficking transition back into the community.

“We are proud of the Adelaide community for coming out in force to support an end to child trafficking.”

Award winning public policy expert and former advisor to Natasha Stott-Despoja, Jo Pride will also speak at the breakfast.

Ms Shugg and Ms Pride will share stories from their work and uncover the realities surrounding trafficking, the stories of courage, bravery and hope and challenge our thinking around how our daily practices can have an impact on poverty and contribute to trafficking.

Proceeds from the event will go to Plan International Australia’s Because I am a Girl campaign, which works to prevent girls from trafficking and to champions girls’ rights worldwide. 

Media are invited to attend this event to conduct interviews. Please register here.

Interviews with Plan International Australia’s Child Rights and Protection Advisor, Sophie Shugg are available via Jane Gardner, 0438 130 905

Or Leanne Muffet/Jo Pride via Kathryn Mroczek 0417 365 303