Word from Joëlle Milquet, Vice-Minister of Belgium, Minister of Interior and of Equal Opportunities and
Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister of Women’s Rights and French Government Spokesperson
The United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others is turning 65. In order to underline this anniversary, we have decided to organise an International Conference in Brussels which will gather all European Countries that have signed or ratified the New York Convention. This Convention is particularly important since it still is the only international text on human trafficking that specifically names and looks at the exploitation of the prostitution of others.
As human trafficking and the exploitation of prostitution are increasing dramatically, we would like to reflect upon these phenomena from a gender and a human rights perspectives. This international Conference, organised in collaboration with Samilia Foundation, will give an overview of the situation within the European Union. It will tackle wider themes linked to the subject like the hyper sexualisation of society and new phenomena such as the prostitution of minors and the new technologies.
The conference will be followed by a ministerial round table in which her Majesty the Queen Mathilde of Belgium will take part.
We would like to invite ministers of the European countries that have either signed or ratified the New York Convention to present good practices and positive experiences that have been taken in order to change the image of prostitution and lower the demand for it. These exchanges between Ministers will address the existing link between prostitution and the increase of human trafficking for sexual purposes as well as prostitution as a violence against women and the fight against the prostitution of minors.
The Conference and the Ministerial round table will forge a unique opportunity to set light on current policies that have been set to fight human trafficking and the exploitation of the prostitution of others. These combined events will give the opportunity to remember the objectives of the New York Convention and to get signatory Member States and parties into action. Finally, it will allow a particularly useful dialogue to take place in order to aim towards a common and most needed strategy in these fields.