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  Mary Robinson
  Mrs Robinson fights against the trade in people
  Mary Robinson:
Life at a glance

• 21 May 1944: Born in County Mayo, Ireland
• 1969: Appointed Reid Professor of Constitutional and Criminal Law - Trinity College, Dublin
• 1969-89: Member of the Irish Upper House of Parliament
• 1988: Co-founds the Irish Centre for European Law
• 1990: First woman to become President of Ireland
• 1997: Appointed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
• March 2001: Announces decision to step down
• Sept 2002: Leaves office
Internet Links
    BBC: I have a right to...
    BBC: Women in power
    Cambodia pressed over sex trade
    Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  Mary Robinson on modern slavery

Poverty is the driving force behind all of the issues raised in BBC World Service's Body Trade series.

In an interview with the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson told BBC World Service of the dark side of globalisation and the problems for many involved in a modern form of slavery.

"Everyday in many countries of this world women and children are bought and sold, transported against their will and forced into lives of prostitution and pornography, slave labour and utter misery," she explained.

"The lives of these unfortunate human beings are cut short because of disease and the dangers to which they are subjected. The problem is growing; it's becoming more and more organised by criminals and is linked to drugs and terrorism. It is the downside, the dark side of globalisation."

Highlighting the plight of people in two particular areas of the world, Africa and Eastern Europe, Mrs Robinson went on to explain how both regions are responsible for large numbers of trafficked women and girls.

Whereas Eastern European girls are often threatened with violence by sex traffickers, West Africans are brainwashed. But what they all have in common is desperation to escape their present circumstances.

"When we see a country in transition having an economic downturn there's a rise in the number of women who go into prostitution, who are trafficked into the sex trade," Mrs Robinson explained.
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