On March 8, International Women’s Day 2006, the European Parliament launched its “Red Card to Forced Prostitution” campaign in time for this year’s World Cup in Germany. Around 700,000 women and children are trafficked through international borders each year and it is estimated that around 40,000 will be trafficked and forced to work as prostitutes during the World Cup celebrations.
MEPs, both male and female, from all ends of the political spectrum emphasised there outrage at this modern day form of slavery and encouraged the European Commission and other colleagues to step up action to combat this violation of human rights.
UKIP’s representative on the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee, Godfrey Bloom, although unable to attend the seminar was not short of a word or two on the subject. In an outrageous statement to the Yorkshire Today, Mr Bloom announced he used to visit brothels in Hong Kong when he was a businessman. Bloom then went on to claim “most girls do it because they want to. If they (prostitutes) wanted a job as a Tesco check-out girl, they'd go do that instead."
Linda McAvan, Labour MEP for Yorkshire and Humberside, disgusted by Bloom’s comments highlighted the fact that “once again, Mr Bloom is making comments that question his suitability for public office. If he did any research on the subject I think he would find that prostitution is a very sad affair and the majority of girls don't have any choice in what they're having to do." Yorkshire Today
Bloom was also given speaking time in today’s Debate in the Strasbourg Plenary on “Forced Prostitution in the framework of sporting events”. UKIPWatch was hoping Bloom would withdraw his outrageous remarks and come out in support of tighter measures to combat forced prostitution. We were however left speechless when he failed to show up.
Yorkshire Today, March 10 2006
The Sprout, March issue 2006
European Parliament Debate on Forced Prostitution in the framework of sporting events March 13th 2006 6pm