For once, let me address a serious issue. 10 December was Human Rights Day. I had received an invitation by the Commission consultative des Droits de l'Homme du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg to attend a conference on human trafficking in the European Union. When I got to the Cité judiciaire, a group of people representing Amnesty International had gathered outside.
The conference was given by Ms. Myria Vassiliadou, the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator. I learned that about nine hundred thousand people, the majority of them girls and women, are victims and used to generate about 32 billion euro annually. Ms. Vassiliadou presented the European strategy that has been put in place, in order to combat this modern form of slavery.
The conference was followed by a nice reception.
It felt strange to be eating this lovely food and drink sparkling wine, knowing that thousands of people are forced to work against their will, are beaten, and possibly killed. And no one will ever know about their existence and the perpetrators may never get caught.
So what can we do? Keep our eyes open, question any kinds of services we pay for, as there is a possibility that they are provided by people who are held as slaves against their will, who have had their papers taken from them, and who don't get paid for their work. Going forward I am also going to pay attention to where the clothes that I buy were made. It may be just a drop in the ocean but it's a start at least.