Around 22.5 million South Asians suffer violence, trafficking and abuse, including sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, child labour, forced marriage, bride-buying and sex tourism.
Now, award-winning actress Nina Wadia is set to present a radio appeal, to increase awareness about human trafficking. She also aims to raise donations to help fight against it, as part of her role as an ambassador of the British Asian Trust.
The BBC Radio 4 broadcast will be aired twice, at 7.55am and again at 9.26pm on Sunday 5th February. The appeal will be repeated on Monday 9th February at 3.27pm.
Around 70% of trafficked victims are female and one in three are children.
Extreme poverty and lack of education means that 70% of victims are illiterate and 50% earn less than $1 per day. An astonishing 40,000 children are reported abducted each year, with 11,000 untraced. In addition, 53% of children have reported sexual abuse.
Nina Wadia said: “I feel so proud to deliver this anti-trafficking appeal for the British Asian Trust to help protect the welfare of children and young people in South Asia.”
The British Asian Trust was founded in 2007 by HRH The Prince of Wales, who wanted to do something about the widespread poverty and hardship that he saw in South Asia.
He turned to the entrepreneurial spirit of the British Asian diaspora, bringing together visionary philanthropists and supporting grassroots initiatives that enable people to help themselves.
“I am hugely passionate about this cause and share a vision with the Trust to eliminate trafficking and enable all young people to fully achieve their potential and help shape the future of South Asia,” Nina added.
Richard Hawkes, CEO, British Asian Trust said: “We’re thrilled to have our ambassador Nina Wadia supporting us with our anti-trafficking campaign.
“The Indian Government reported a 25% increase in trafficking in 2015, which is a disturbing statistic. At the British Asian Trust, our vision is to protect children and young people from trafficking and abuse, while also rehabilitating victims.
“By forging partnerships with frontline organisations, stakeholders and the Government, we hope to work collaboratively to increase impact and raise awareness.”
So far, the charity has supported 9,500 girls and 18,600 families to improve safety, which includes collaboration with police and education officials, community supervision and links to key influencers.