When the personal should be political

Labour condemns UK ‘opt out’ from EU directive against sex trafficking – The Guardian

“The government will review the UK’s position once the directive has been agreed, and will continue to work constructively with European partners on matters of mutual interest. By not opting in now but reviewing our position when the directive is agreed, we can choose to benefit from being part of a directive that is helpful but avoid being bound by measures that are against our interests.”

The row over the directive came as new figures challenged the claim by law enforcement agencies that they are cracking down on criminal gangs which have forced an estimated 2,600 foreign women into prostitution in brothels in England and Wales. Only five people were convicted of human trafficking for sexual exploitation in the first six months of this year, according to figures from the UK Human Trafficking Centre, compared with 33 and 34 in the previous two 12-month periods. A further nine were convicted of other offences, having been arrested on suspicion of trafficking.

I know I tend to both make things personal and take things personally, but I am not really a journalist. If anything, I am a creative writer (at least that’s what my training was about and a good part of my degree studies) so maybe that’s where my tendency to make stories personal comes from. Reading this I can only wonder: when politicians decide to opt out of a directive to combat sex slavery, what kind of interest could they possibly privilege over the life of the (mostly) women and young girls who live in unthinkable conditions? Do economic and financial interest really cloud judgment to the point that a person loses the perspective to realize what this means to the lives of thousands? Shouldn’t the trademark of a good politician be his or her capability to make it personal?

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