Trafficking in Human Beings, particularly women and children - Another dimension

8 November 2005
On the 5th anniversary of the 1325 UN Resolution, calling for women's equal participation and full involvement in all efforts to maintain and promote peace and security, it has been hugely important to debate actual improvements and changes. Highlighting enduring obstacles has served as a reminder of the need to continue fighting for the participation of women in peace-building.

One obstacle this blog has not yet covered in detail is the phenomenon of trafficking in human beings. As victims of trafficking are mainly women, the silence around the issue could be seen as an expression of a lack of gender sensitivity in some quarters.

Adding to this concern is the fact that not only ‘gender-insensitive’ studies and analyses leave out the issue. Critical assessments being voiced from a gender perspective, e.g. Boge & Spelten’s chapter on the lack of gender sensitivity in ‘war economy’ studies focus on drugs and weapons trafficking at the expense of addressing the phenomenon of human trafficking (see Daily Links - 4 November).

Breaking this silence would highlight yet another obstacle to the achievement of the gender awareness which the 1325 Resolution calls.

Moreover, debating the issue of human trafficking could act as a way of shedding light on otherwise unchallenged assumptions about gender, war and peace.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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