International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Film Screening of "Sestre" at the UN in Vienna
To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna screened the Serbian film "Sestre" (Sisters) at the United Nations headquarters in Vienna on Friday 25 November.
"Violence against women and girls takes many forms and is widespread throughout the globe (…) violence, and in many cases the mere threat of it, is one of the most significant barriers to women's full equality," United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The documentary "Sestre", directed by Vladimir Paskaljević, tells the tragic story of two sisters who fell into the hands of traffickers and were enslaved into the sex trade. The story is based on factual events and mirrors the real nature of human trafficking in Serbia. The award winning film, released in 2011 and premiered in Belgrade, was funded by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the European Union and the Government of Serbia.
Following the film screening there was a discussion with Bojana Maljević, Actress and Producer of "Sestre", Gregoire Goodstein, Chief of Mission, International Organization for Migration Serbia and Barbara Sidoti, UNODC Anti-Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Unit.
"Viewed from the outside, it is difficult to really understand the feelings and reactions of victims," Bojana Maljević said. "Girls are forced to do this," she stressed. The film should help victims to talk about this issue.
Barbara Sidoti of the UNODC Anti-Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Unit pointed out the importance of awareness-raising initiatives, such as the Blue Heart Campaign, which seeks to encourage involvement and inspire action to help stop human trafficking and its impact on society.
Gregoire Goodstein, Chief of Mission, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Serbia, referred to the activities undertaken by IOM to combat human trafficking in Serbia, including the UN.GIFT Joint Programme of UNHCR-UNODC-IOM to Combat Human Trafficking.
The film screening and subsequent discussion was attended by UN staff, representatives of Permanent Missions to the UN in Vienna, NGOs and individuals.
Interview with the producer, Bojana Maljević: http://www.ungift.org/knowledgehub/blog/hubQA/the-hub-q-and-a_sestre.html