When the US Army liberated the camp and discovered the thousands of slaughtered bodies in huge piles and thousands of starved people, they brought the people of the City of Weimar to walk through Buchenwald to view the bodies and the starving people, evidence of the Holocaust wherein six million Jewish people were murdered- an unprecedented mass murder of civilians.
The Weimar Human Rights Award was established twenty-five years ago to honor human rights defenders and to acknowledge the commitment of a new generation of people of Weimar that such crimes of the past would never be repeated.
Slavery and abuse continue today in many more countries. In Myanmar, the Rohingya people are suffering genocide and former human rights defender Aung San Suu Kyi, in her statement at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, has turned to support the military in their alleged war crimes of genocide. Thousands of Rohingya are exiled in Bangladesh.
The sale of human beings by human traffickers into the bondage of sex slavery is an atrocious form of human rights violation. This modern kind of slavery is not the same as human exploitation of the past but it is very much with us today in our world and it is greater than it ever was. Sex tourism and online child sexual exploitation are contributing to expanding the sex trade.
This insidious form of human trafficking is evil because it is aided, abetted, and approved by the government itself. The state gives permits, earns money and supports the sex industry and thereby encourages and accelerates human trafficking. Every town has a red-light district with sex bars operating with business permits and licenses issued by the mayor. It is a huge earning of revenue for the town or city.
The human traffickers act with impunity and they keep a steady supply of vulnerable impoverished and needy young girls from the poorest of provinces and city slums that are forced and pressured into prostitution, Prostitution is illegal in the Philippines and yet hundreds of thousands are trafficked and sexually exploited in the commercial sex industry.
Wherever this is happening in the world, let it be known that the salaries of public officials and public services are funded in part by the proceeds of human trafficking and slavery. This, despite strong laws forbidding human trafficking and enslavement, laws which are seldom implemented or enforced.
Human rights defenders oppose this slavery and abuse of women and children and we must unite together to stand against it and uphold the rights and dignity of the oppressed and enslaved women and children.