- In partnership with the Eleanor Roosevelt Project, the US State Department, and OHCHR, Vital Voices hosted The Courage to Lead: A Global Summit for Women's Rights Leaders in Geneva, Switzerland from December 10-12, 2009.
- In partnership with Avon and the US State Department, Vital Voices hosted the Global Summit to End Violence against Women and Human Trafficking. 150 multi-disciplinary delegates from over 15 countries attended this Summit in Washington, DC from March 8-12, 2010.
Vital Voices has working closely with the Alliance to End Slavery & Trafficking (ATEST) to accomplish the following priorities:
- Supporting lobbying efforts to increase appropriations for law enforcement and victims service providers working to combat trafficking in persons. Vital Voices met directly with several key executive agencies such as the Department of Justice, the Department of State, and the Department of Health & Human Services, all of which are engaged in combating human slavery and trafficking.
- In 2011, Congress will reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). Vital Voices is leading ATEST's efforts to coordinate advocacy on the reauthorization, which will cover technical fixes, substantive reforms, and appropriations for law enforcement, victim services, international development and other related areas.
- Supporting governments and corporate suppliers of major commodities to ensure that supply chains are free of slavery and forced labor.
- Hosted a conference in Bangkok which brought together government and NGO representatives
from the Greater Mekong Sub-region to promote government and civil society's joint antitrafficking
efforts. Facilitated cross-sector and cross-border dialogues among key stakeholders in
Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.
- Joined an International Business Roundtable against Human Trafficking in Athens and signed
the Ethical Principles Agreement that was later announced at the World Economic Forum in
- The project has catalyzed similar anti-trafficking initiatives in thirteen countries; United States,
Ukraine, Russia, Taiwan, Greece, Philippines, Thailand, China, Vietnam ,Cambodia, Laos,
Burma and Australia.
In collaboration with the Royal Thai Government's Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the US Embassy in Thailand, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Vital Voices Global Partnership brought together government and NGO representatives from the Greater Mekong Sub-region for a conference May 22-24 in Bangkok to promote government and civil society's joint anti-trafficking efforts. The primary focus of the three-day conference was to facilitate cross-sector and cross-border dialogues among key stakeholders in Burma, Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. The result was a nineteen-recommendation document that will serve as guidelines for civil society and government collaborative efforts in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.
During the month of February 2006 Vital Voices has been engaged in multiple activities combating human trafficking:
1. Congressional briefings for both the US House of Representatives and Senate about the on-going efforts to combat modern day slavery (February/March 2006, also in partnership with UNDOC).
2. Co-sponsoring the first-ever 'Ending Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking in the 21st Century' summit in San Francisco, California, attended by roughly 450 business leaders, health care providers, educators, advocates, faith leaders and policy-makers (February 2006).
3. Co-sponsoring with the Development Action of Women Network (DAWN), a conference in Manila, the Philippines, evaluating human trafficking between Japan and the Philippines (February 2006).
In partnership with the United Nations and the United Kingdom Government launched the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking. The Global Initiative, coordinated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and joined by Governments and civil society, coincides with both the 200th anniversary of the abolition of trans-Atlantic slave trade and the bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. Vital Voices' Board Member and Member of the House of Lords, Baroness Mary Goudie, hosted and chaired the launch event with a press conference. Other speakers included UK Member of Parliament and Under Secretary of State, Mr. Vernon Coaker; Member of Parliament and Minister for Trade, Investment, and Foreign Affairs; Executive Director of UNODC, Mr. Antonio Maria Costa; and UN Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Julia Ormond. A series of events throughout the world will culminate in Vienna with an International Conference against Human Trafficking on February 13-15, 2008.
PROGRESS UPDATE: July 2008
Vital Voices Global Partnership (VVGP) continues to build on its commitment to combat human trafficking. VVGP spearheaded two major leadership meetings in Thailand for partners in the sub Mekong region and another in Hong Kong with prominent businesses and representatives of multilateral organizations. Vital Voices has played a key leadership role in an unprecedented meeting of more than 170 nations in Vienna in February 2008. Vital Voices was instrumental in the organization of the Women Leaders Council.
Vital Voices published the report, 'Stateless and Vulnerable to Human Trafficking in Northern Thailand', detailing the legal and practical barriers to the tribal people in northern Thailand and their vulnerability to human trafficking.
- On November 7, 2007, Vital Voices Global Partnership, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) cosponsored the premiere of the film 'Holly' by Priority Films in conjunction with the launch of the Somaly Mam Foundation. Held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the event brought attention to the global challenge of human trafficking for sexual exploitation.
- In April 2008, Vital Voices briefed Capitol Hill on 'Stopping Women Trafficking in the Muslim World.' Vital Voices asked that the House of Representatives vote to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2007, giving critical funding to nations around the world to combat human trafficking.
- Vital Voices honored Charm Tong of Burma in April 2008. Charm Tong was awarded for her courage in fighting human trafficking and violence against Burmese women.