Ruth Jacobs, author and seemingly tireless charity campaigner, has dedicated herself to spending this month interviewing survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation as well as anti-human trafficking activists, advocates, filmmakers, writers and feminists. I met her recently in London to discuss the inspiration for her latest campaign.
'January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and the fact that there are more slaves in the world today than at any other time in history, needs to be recognised and acted on' says Ruth, as passionate in the flesh as in print, 'We need more help for the victims of trafficking and harsher punishments for those profiteering from this heinous crime.'
It's Ruth's passion for her subject that led me to select her to guest edit my current affairs and arts blog After Nyne on Friday 18 January. I knew that she would bring a selection of thought-provoking pieces to the table. Her planned features do not disappoint.
Ruth explains where her interest in anti-trafficking campaigning began
'When I first studied prostitution in the late 1990s, I was not involved in studying sex trafficking and as the women I interviewed were call girls, they were not trafficked, not by the definition of 'trafficked' as I understood it back then.
What I have become aware of more recently is the extent of human trafficking, much of which is sex trafficking, primarily of women and children, that is happening in the world today. I want to expose this, not just because people need to know what is happening in the world, but because people need to know it can happen to them. It can happen to anyone. And it is happening everywhere'.
So what can we do about it? I asked
'Part of the solution to ending human trafficking is raising awareness, which is what I hope to achieve with the series of interviews for Human Trafficking Awareness Month and in my Guest Editorship of After Nyne this Friday.
Anti-human trafficking activists and advocates share a wealth of information on what they do, and numerous ways for people to get involved themselves.'
I leave our interview heartened at Ruth's determination, knowing that After Nyne will be in good hands.
Catch Ruth Jacobs as Guest Editor of After Nyne , Friday, 18th January