Press Releases

    6 February 2008

    Container Exhibit Highlights Plight of Trafficking Victims 

    VIENNA, 6 February (UN Information Service) - A unique art installation that maps the journey of a victim of human trafficking is coming to Vienna from 13 to 16 February.

    " The Journey Against Sex Trafficking" uses seven transport containers to illustrate the brutal and harrowing experiences of women sold into the sex trade. This interactive exhibition is based on the real-life stories of young women who leave their home countries in search of a better life but are deceived or coerced by traffickers and forced to work in the sex industry.

    The aim of Journey is to show visitors the reality of human trafficking - a crime that happens every day, all around the world - and to encourage the public, politicians and especially consumers to take action.

    Each container shows a different stage in the trafficking process, starting with "Hope" that reflects the aspirations of young women planning to leave their home countries. The containers "Uniform", "Bedroom" and "Customer" offer a graphic and disturbing insight into the daily ordeal of women forced to work in the sex industry.

    The seven containers have been individually designed by leading artists, including Oscar-winning film designer, Michael Howells, Oscar-winning costume designer, Sandy Powell, and Turner Prize-winning sculptor, Anish Kapoor. 

    The driving force behind Journey is Oscar-winning actress, Emma Thompson, who has teamed up with Sam Roddick, fellow activist and daughter of Body Shop founder, Anita Roddick, to raise awareness of trafficking and the plight of trafficked women.

    Emma Thompson, who will accompany Journey to Vienna, opened the first showing of the installation last September on London's Trafalgar Square, where it received unprecedented media, public and political attention.

    Alongside her acting career, Emma Thompson is Chair of the Helen Bamber Foundation - an organization that supports victims of human rights violations, raises awareness of human trafficking and helps survivors rebuild their lives. Its founder, Helen Bamber, has been working with victims of cruelty for over 60 years, starting in 1945 when she went into the Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp with the Jewish Relief Unit.

    The installation forms part of the Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking, which is taking place from 13 to 15 February at the Austria Center Vienna. The Forum is the culmination of the United Nations ongoing Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT).

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    Journey Against Sex Trafficking
    13-16 February
    1010 Vienna (at the Hofburg)

    For further information, contact:

    Walter Kemp
    Acting Spokesperson
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060 5629
    Mobile : (+43-699) 1459-5629