This week, Blisstree was there when The Body Shop launched the second phase of its Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People campaign in partnership with End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT) and the Somaly Mam Foundation. This part of the initiative will focus on gathering signatures to increase awareness about the laws surrounding sex trafficking, whereas the first phase focused solely on raising funds for the cause.
Susan Sarandon, who noted that she chooses which charities to give her time and money to very carefully, spoke about the ethical responsibility The Body Shop is showing by spearheading this campaign, and how great it would be if more big corporations understood that they also could make a positive difference. She also stressed that the problems surrounding victims of sex trafficking don’t end when the children are rescued — they need constant follow-up support through therapy and medical care, which is a focus of the Somaly Mam Foundation. Somaly, one of Susan’s close friends, was sold into the sex trade when she was just 12, and spent more than a decade being bought and sold for sex. Today, her nonprofit not only helps children rescued from the sex trade get medical and psychological treatment, but also helps them embrace what’s left of their childhoods.
Shockingly, even though victims of sex trafficking are forced into their crimes, they actually can be arrested for prostitution. That’s why it’s so important to sign the petition lobbying for safe harbor laws, which protect victims from being arrested and prosecuted. You can sign the petition online, or at any Body Shop location. You can also lend your support while taking home something nice for yourself (other than that warm fuzzy feeling, of course): Buy the Soft Hands Kind Heart hand lotion, and 100% of the proceeds go to ECPAT, or pick up the Stop Sex Trafficking Bag for Life, and 100% of the proceeds benefit the Somaly Mam Foundation.