Women shocked into action

Marie Bokulic and Anita Zubovic are running a Clothes Swap fund-raiser at Wollongong Public School to raise money and awareness for stopping human trafficking. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Marie Bokulic and Anita Zubovic are running a Clothes Swap fund-raiser at Wollongong Public School to raise money and awareness for stopping human trafficking. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Most Australians have heard about slavery and trafficking of women and children in Third World countries around the globe.

But many would be shocked to learn Australia is not immune to this hideous crime.

Earlier this year the Sun Herald reported that Asian women were being snared in a student visa scam that funnels them into Sydney brothels where they are forced to sell sex and drugs for up to 20 hours a day.

Corrimal woman Anita Zubovic is particularly concerned with the trafficking of women and children around the world.

She has organised a Clothes Swap fund-raiser to highlight the issue and raise funds for Anti Slavery Australia and Stop the Traffik - which are dedicated to abolishing slavery and the trafficking of people in Australia and worldwide.

Mrs Zubovic was "horrified" at International Labour Organisation statistics which showed that more than 27-million people were enslaved worldwide in 2012, with 4.5 million victims of forced sexual exploitation.

Almost 30 per cent of all trafficking victims are children and 55 per cent are women.

Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry, behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking.

"These stats are horrifying. My big question is why does this issue have such a low profile in Australia yet it can easily be considered one of the most abhorrent crimes one could think of," she said.

"The only way I can start to not feel so helpless with the situation is to do something to help, so I thought of a clothes swap party."

The Clothes Swap fund-raiser will be held at Wollongong Public School's premises in Church Street, Wollongong on July 5 from 1pm to 5pm. Entry is $12.

All clothes left will be donated to the Wollongong Women's Refuge and Manus Island detention centre for refugees.

For more information go to antislavery.org.au.

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