Mira Katherine Sorvino, 46, is an American actress who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Mighty Aphrodite 1995. She extends her appointment as UNODC Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Human Trafficking. She calls on the Governments to work hard to fight against the traffic of human beings during the short speech which she delivered before journalists and the UN staff at the Rotunda of the Vienna International Centre.
Sorvino visited the Vienna International Centre and agreed to continue her role as the United Nation office on drugs and crime’s (UNODC) Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Human Trafficking. Ms. Sorvino, who has played a very active role in promoting the plight of human trafficking victims since her initial appointment in February 2009, also met with UNODC staff to discuss the latest trends and issues surrounding this multi-billion dollar crime.
She said: “I’ve had the incredible opportunity to travel the world and meet with Governments, NGOs and survivors as part of my work for UNODC. I have interviewed scores of people whose lives have intersected with this modern-day slave trade, either as those fighting it, those victimized by it, or those perpetrating it.
She added: “I have learned so much and have seen progress, but we are still very, very far from really making a meaningful dent in the problem statistically. The UNODC 2012 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons for example raises serious concerns about low conviction rates 16 per cent of reporting countries did not record a single conviction for trafficking in persons between 2007 and 2010”.
The UN Goodwill Ambassador asks countries “to do better” in the fight against human trafficking. “We must make certain the recommendations, policies, laws and funding are put into practice and use, not simply paid lip service. Governments must vigorously go after organised crime groups involved in this trade, with the victims’ and survivors’ best interest at the heart of all actions. Everyone – governments, business and individuals – can do their part with their own unique capacities; one of the most immediate ways to make a difference is donating to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking, which helps victims directly.”
Human trafficking ruthlessly exploits women, men and children and affects all countries – at least 460 trafficking flows were identified between 2007 and 2010 in the UNODC 2012 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, with victims of 136 nationalities detected in 118 countries. Overall, about 27 per cent of detected victims are children with the average age of detected victims appearing to have decreased as child trafficking – particularly that of girls – has been increasingly detected in the last few years.
Yury Fedotov, the executive director of UNODC said that Ms. Sorvino has shown great commitment to the cause of human trafficking. He thanked her for the grateful mission which she carried for over the past four years in support of UNODC-led initiatives aimed at a variety of audiences from policy-makers to the creative community to the media – and for the enthusiasm in which she carries out her work.
As the guardian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons, UNODC is a key global player in the fight against modern-day slavery.
Mr. Fedotov added: “Our work in raising awareness benefits tremendously from the support of prominent individuals from the worlds of arts and entertainment such as Ms. Sorvino. I am fully confident that her prestige, talent and enthusiasm will continue to advance our cause and will send a clear message about the urgency to fight this crime and help its victims”.