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City hosting exhibit to raise awareness about human trafficking

April 21, 2015

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

GIFT Box is a walk-in exhibit to raise awareness, educate the public, and empower people to take action against human trafficking.

Today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the City of Boston will host GIFT Box, a walk-in exhibit to raise awareness, educate the public, and empower people to take action against human trafficking. GIFT Box was created by STOP THE TRAFFIK, the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN-GIFT), and the Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons (CSTISP), and is being presented in collaboration with the Mayor’s Public Safety Initiative and the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement. GIFT Box will be on display at Faneuil Hall from May 4 to May 14, and is free and open to the public from 8am to 5:30pm.

"Human trafficking is a world wide crisis, that is happening here in our backyard. This practice is illegal and exploitative, and it often goes undetected,” said Mayor Walsh. “GIFT Box is a unique way to raise awareness about sex trafficking, and how we can work together to end this demeaning crime.”

GIFT Box is a large, colorfully wrapped box, with an interior exhibit on the harsh realities of sex trafficking told through photographs and survivor stories. The exhibit also provides contacts and outreach information for those who are involved in sex trafficking and who may need help or know individuals who need help.

“The U.S. State Department estimates that 27 million men, women and children are trafficking victims worldwide at any given time,” said Ruth Dearnley, CEO of STOP THE TRAFFIK. “The GIFT Box reminds the public that behind any statistic is a face - a person who has a price tag hung around their neck.”

“The real life stories inside the GIFT Box will break your heart, but hopefully, open your heart. One cannot view the faces and not be moved,” said Deb O’Hara-Rusckowski of CSTIP. “The biggest misconception is people thinking it happens far away in other countries---they cannot see that people are being trafficked right here in their very own cities, towns and neighborhoods.”

STOP THE TRAFFIK launched GIFT Box during the London 2012 Olympic Games. The GIFT Box promotes the global fight on human trafficking while educating thousands of people, from victims to survivors, to every citizen – aware and unaware of this world-wide crisis. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, human trafficking is a $150 billion industry, making it the second largest criminal industry in the world after drug trafficking. It is also the fastest growing crime.

To learn more about this initiative, please go to http://ungiftbox.org. The GIFT Box will also travel to the University of New Hampshire, UMass Lowell, and Boston College during the months of April and May.

About STOP THE TRAFFIK

STOP THE TRAFFIK (STT) is a global movement of individuals, communities and organizations fighting to prevent human trafficking around the world. For more information visit www.stopthetraffik.org.

About United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking

The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) is a global coalition working together to help stop the sale of people, to see the traffickers prosecuted and to protect human trafficking victims.

About Committee to Stop Trafficking In Persons

The NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons (CSTIP) is dedicated to the eradication of human trafficking in all its forms through education, advocacy, research and monitoring compliance with United Nations treaties, protocols, laws and resolutions. For more information contact ngocstip@gmail.com.