Human Trafficking is second only to drug dealing as the most profitable area of global crime.
Soroptimists worldwide are working together to highlight and eliminate the illegal trade and exploitation of human beings. The purpose of trafficking is always exploitation and includes Forced Labour; Sexual Exploitation; Forced criminality (theft/begging); Child Exploitation (anyone under 18); and Organ Harvesting. This is happening worldwide, including the UK, and is closer to home than many realise or wish to believe. SI Stratford-upon-Avon has held several events in order to raise local awareness of issues that could be on our doorstep.
- Stop the Traffick – Stop the Tears was the theme of a seminar hosted by SI Stratford that marked anti-slavery day on October 18th 2012. Speakers were from the Coventry branch of Combat www.combattrafficking.eu , an EU funded project, and from Stop the Traffik www.stopthetraffik.org , a UK based organisation with links to UDOC (UN Office on Drugs and Crime).
- In May 2014 a speaker described to the club the Adavu Project which aims to facilitate a local response to human trafficking in the West Midlands and beyond www.adavu.org.uk . It describes human trafficking as the movement of a person from one place to another into conditions of exploitation, using deception, coercion, the abuse of power or the abuse of someone’s vulnerability. Awareness is a key factor in success of anti-slavery work, and the importance of alerting police to concerns was emphasised by dialing 101 or, where immediate action is needed, 999. Where anonymity is important Crimestoppers (0800 555 111) can be used. There is also a trafficking helpline on 0800 783 2589.
- In August 2014 pavement-café clients and passing tourists in Stratford-upon-Avon were highly entertained watching the ultimate flat pack slowly gather shape into a beautiful shiny blue walk-in Gift Box with offers to Get a Good Job, Get an Education, and Find a Better Life. But these are promises made by those in the dark world of people-trafficking, and inside the Box the promises fell apart. Here visitors read about the horrific truths of men, women and children sold into forced labour. And yes, it does happen in our lovely rural Warwickshire. This is a powerful Stop The Traffik initiative and was brought to the town and hosted for 5 days by SI Stratford-upon-Avon.