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18 January 2010

European road trip raises awareness of human trafficking

European road trip raises awareness of human trafficking

Angered by the growing global problem of children and adults being sold into slavery and sexual exploitation, two friends from the Cross Border Initiatives (CBI) team are currently on a road trip round Eastern Europe to visit prevention projects and raise awareness of human trafficking.

Cross Border Initiatives (CBI) is a newly formed Christian charity which aims to raise awareness of this organised crime and its secretive system. It has now partnered with Love 146, an American anti-trafficking charity and CBI are leading the Love146 Cross Border Initiative.

Gaz Kishere and Steve Leach are on the road trip, from 7 - 24 January covering thousands of miles, visiting trafficking prevention projects in several European countries. Their aim is to raise awareness of the plight of young people at the hands of human traffickers and look into further ways CBI can work with these projects. So far the team have travelled through Prague, Vienna, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Bucharest, Greece and Rome. Their time has provided opportunities to see first-hand situations with people trapped in prostitution and meet people who are being helped by the projects.

Love 146 Cross Border Initiative is a creative response to the trafficking of youth in Europe, utilising a pop culture magazine containing articles addressing issues that contribute to the vulnerability of young people.

CBI helped to launch this new youth magazine called 'escape' at an event in Moldova's capital city addressing the issue head on. Now, thanks to Love 146, 'escape' can extend to further editions and versions for other Eastern European countries.

Father of four and Founder of Cross Border Initiatives Gaz Kishere explains: "We learned about an anti-trafficking project in Moldova, called the Beginning of Life foundation (BOL). BOL runs a rehabilitation home for women who have returned to Moldova after being trafficked into the sex industry. The foundation also works in schools to raise awareness about the dangers facing young people who want to work abroad."

Gaz continues: " BOL wanted to add further prevention tools to its existing schools work, a medium which could include a strong anti-trafficking message and could be distributed to secondary schools and communities across Moldova. I saw an opportunity for a youth magazine and it was a great privilege to be in Moldova and to see the first issue and the dynamic intervention that it will bring to the most 'at risk' age group."

Read how the team are getting on - Road trip blog: Love 146 Europe / Cross Border Initiatives

Love 146 http://love146.org/prevention/europe/cross-borders

For more information visit http://www.crossborderinitiatives.org/

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