JUNE Kane has seen the worst of what people are capable of doing to others.
In her role as an independent human rights expert with the United Nations, she has worked in the fields of violence against children and women, child labour, sexual abuse and exploitation of children and human trafficking.
She says occasionally she is asked if her work gets to her. Most of the time it doesn’t.
“But occasionally there is a child who breaks my heart,” she said.
Dr Kane met with women from the South West Business and Professional Women (BPW) group this week in Warrnambool and told the story of a young girl from Morocco.
She said there had been a project through UNICEF to take children out of the factories and into school.
One girl had gone to school and been told by the teacher she couldn’t attend unless she provided $1.
The girl didn’t have $1 and her mother told her to go to the factory to see if she could borrow the money.
When she went, her throat was slit by one of the women at the factory.
“This woman told her what she thought of going to school,” she said.
“Today that girl is still in school. I keep track of her.”
It’s estimated that there are 2.7 million people around the world trafficked for exploitation.
But according to Dr Kane it is impossible to quantify the exact number because like any other crime it’s an ongoing one.
“I wouldn’t say it’s getting better,” she said.
“My daughter always says her mother is saving the world one person at a time.
“If we’re helping some people that’s good.”
Dr Kane is also the president of the BPW Melbourne-West group and said one thing the community could do was understand sexual abuse, the exploitation of children and human trafficking.
She said if people cared about each other and were kind to each other the world could be better.
“People say to me if someone’s had their first baby what can be done to make sure the child has a good life,” she said.
“Love them, that’s all.”