What's love got to do with it?

This has been the year of remembering the end of the Atlantic slave trade and the Daily Mail has got a big feature on the history of slavery today.

We've all become used to talking about the horror of slavery - I remember when Roots was shown on television there was a real change in people's understanding: everyone at school the next day talking about Kunte Kinte (yes, Im that old!).

Today, the thing that we're starting to get wise to is sex slavery - where women and girls are trafficked into sexual slavery, forced prostitution. Radio 4's leading documentary strand Crossing Continents has got a special going out today on sex slavery in Central America. I heard a trail from this last night on The World Tonight - it sounds really excellent.

Likewise, the Today programme had an item (at 8.50) about the trafficking of impoverished women from Russia, Ukraine and Moldova to the cabaret bars of Cyprus. Next time you're on holiday there I'd think twice about what that persuasive street tout is saying about the "beautiful girls" at his bar.

Take action to get the UK government to come up to the standard of European countries that are seeking to safeguard women who have been trafficked and then rescued from brothels.

Two Guardian things on women today as well: a G2 cover story on women facing rape and murder in the brave new Iraq, and a good feature on the backlash from the mens movement against women rights in India. I'm all for men's rights and genuine equality but given the fact that on average in India one woman is murdered for her dowry every 104 minutes - I think the pendulum still has an awful long way to swing there yet.

So Ike Turner has died.

Another icon of music weve lost! I was checking out Rocket 88again this morning before work (its true, its a great rock n roll record).

I don't know about it being the first R'n'R disc - theres no such thing if you ask me (and what about Louis Jordan, Cab Calloway and all the 30s and 40s boogie-woogie players?). But ok, it's good and he worked with a lot of great musicians. But its the violence against his wife Tina Turner that in the end made him (in)famous.

Hes not the first wife-beating musician - why do you think the classic blues intro is Woke up this morning and found my baby gone? - and I doubt he'll be the last. My advice - dont throw Ike's records away, but support Amnesty's Stop Violence Against Women campaign and watch out for the government's new campaign to highlight the dangers of domestic violence this Christmas.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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