SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL OF EUROPE
a global voice for women
Soroptimists are women in professions and business who work together at local, national and international levels to educate, empower and enable women and girls with an aim to improving their lives.
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USING THEATRE TO CHANGE ATTITUDES ABOUT TRAFFICKING
SI Norway gained the support of well-known Norwegian actresses Beathe Frostad and Astrid Elise Sæterøy to launch a storytelling theatre to inform, engage and create a national debate on human trafficking. Aimed at changing attitudes of potential customers and among young people, the 37 performances reaching an audience of 2500 also provided a platform for women victims to tell their horrific stories.
STANDING UP TO STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Some three years ago, a talk by a former criminal investigator inspired SI Club Aalen/Ostwürttemberg to act against human trafficking and sex slavery in Germany and Romania. Since then, club members have collaborated with the former superintendent and Soroptimists from Arad, Temeswar and Brasov to inform some 2000 pupils in 20 Romanian schools about the recruitment methods of traffickers and how not to fall prey to their tactics. In October 2018 the Soroptimists organised a poster and postcard campaign in German cities to engage politicians and the wider public in their fight to stop these crimes. Next year the campaign will be taken to Moldavia.
SCHOOL FOR JUSTICE EMPOWERS FORMER CHILD PROSTITUTES
Partnerships allow Soroptimists to make an even greater impact. The Union of The Netherlands, Surinam and Curacao is well on its way to raising the targeted €200,000 by the end of 2019 to support the work of the School for Justice in India and Nepal. Through this programme, girls rescued from child prostitution are educated to become lawyers and prosecutors with the power to prosecute the criminals who once owned and abused them. At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Dutch Soroptimist Bianca Leemkuil presented a cheque to Indian actress Mallika Sherawat, Ambassador of Free a Girl, an organisation dedicated to rescuing girls from forced prostitution.