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Human Trafficking and People Smuggling: The Distinction

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Fri, 04 Sep 2015 15:25:23 +0000

In recent months the news has been filled with stories of people fleeing war and unrest in the Middle East and seeking better, safer lives for themselves and their families in Europe.

But since European countries impose limits on the number of people they will allow, many people are resorting to crossing borders illegally – often paying smugglers to transport them by boat or lorry. These trips are dangerous and put lives at risk, as the numerous tragic losses of life have shown.

The news stories describing these events often refer to the smugglers paid to take people across borders as human traffickers – but in fact, human trafficking and people smuggling are two very different things.

The distinction between human trafficking and people smuggling can get blurry – and reporters using the two terms interchangeably doesn’t help. Since knowledge is one of our primary tools in preventing vulnerable people from exploitation at the hands of human traffickers, it’s important to understand why human trafficking and people smuggling are different.

Human trafficking and people smuggling: what’s the difference?

Human trafficking involves people being bought and sold for profit. They are taken involuntarily from their communities by force or deception and are moved illegally across borders where they are forced into street crime, domestic servitude, labour and other activities.

The key difference between people smuggling and human trafficking is that those who are being taken across borders by smugglers are doing so voluntarily. Smuggling is a transaction between people who are paying to be taken somewhere and the smugglers who are paid to take them. People are not deceived or taken by force but ‘employ’ smugglers to take across borders without detection.

Traffickers take people against their will and exploit them for profit; smugglers are paid to take people across borders – this, in principle, is the difference between human trafficking and people smuggling. But there are also some ways in which the two converge – those who pay to be transported across borders put themselves in a situation where they are vulnerable to being trafficked.

People smuggling and the threat of trafficking

Paying to be taken across borders by a smuggler is a desperate measure. The means of transport are crowded and unsafe – thousands of people have lost their lives trying to reach their destination at sea or by land. People put themselves entirely at the mercy of the smugglers who are responsible for transporting them, which can lead to them being taken advantage of. It is in situations like this where the line between people smuggling and human trafficking becomes less clear.

In principle, the relationship between the smuggler and the people being taken across borders should end when they reach their destination – this is what people believe when they pay to be taken across borders. But in practice, this may not be the case.

Smugglers often keep people in their power even once they have reached their destination – they can force people to work for years in illegal industries in order to pay off their debts to the smuggler. Further, smugglers are even able to take people to destinations they did not want to end up at. In entering into agreements with smugglers, people give smugglers a power over them that can be abused.

Even if people manage to safely cross borders, their illegal status and the resulting difficulty finding work to support themselves means that they are especially at risk of being targeted by traffickers. Traffickers prey on people who are in desperate situations, making false offers of well-paying jobs and a better life – but their true aim is to exploit people for their own gain.

 

Why we need to protect refugees from the threat of trafficking

At STOP THE TRAFFIK we work to stop people being bought and sold, exploited for profit by others and treated as products rather than human beings. In principle people smuggling doesn’t involve this. Although people smuggling is an illegal and dangerous practice that puts peoples’ lives at risk, in these cases people voluntarily commit to being smuggled across borders.

But we must be aware that when people are in precarious circumstances – like those crossing borders in search of safety from war – they are particularly at risk from human traffickers. Regardless of your views about immigration, those of us who are committed to stop human trafficking need to look out for people who are in situations where they can be targeted by human traffickers. It’s only by working together to offer protection to the most vulnerable members of our global society that we can prevent human trafficking from taking place.


Financial Times’ global reach can transform the fight against trafficking

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Mon, 03 Aug 2015 12:47:06 +0000

The greatest gift to a trafficker is the ability to operate in the shadows and work unseen, to maintain a state of denial enabling the growth of profits through this global crime to continue. To bring trafficking out of the shadows and achieve its effective disruption, STOP THE TRAFFIK has always been dependent on the life giving oxygen of large scale awareness.

That is why the news that the Financial Times has chosen us to be their Seasonal Appeal charity is a massive boost for STOP THE TRAFFIK. They are a powerful new partner with the clout to make a real difference in the battle against forced labour and trafficking around the world.

With the potential to shine the spotlight on the global economic debate around 21st century slavery, the FT and STOP THE TRAFFIK can together lead the empowerment of people, the utilisation of technology, and the gathering and sharing of knowledge necessary to bring disruption to this global crime.

Earlier this year we joined other charities in bidding for this coveted partnership and progressed through the stages, culminating in a final last month. STOP THE TRAFFIK volunteers of all ages visited the FT’s offices in London, standing gagged and dressed in black, holding written personal trafficking testimonies. The team also engaged in conversations and discussions with the FT team and presented via Skype to their offices around the world.

The team at STOP THE TRAFFIK has worked exceptionally hard to secure this partnership since April – but the reality is that this fantastic outcome is down to the continuing hard work that countless people across the world have put into the fight against human trafficking. We’re also aware that a number of charities were under consideration by the FT. Their work is both invaluable and inspirational. We are humbled to have been chosen and are determined to maximise this opportunity, empowering communities around the globe, to ultimately STOP THE TRAFFIK.

Ruth Dearnley
Global CEO of STOP THE TRAFFIK

Read the full press release here


Keep shining that light- a visit to the Tea Gardens of Assam.

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Mon, 20 Jul 2015 13:46:06 +0000

The first time I visited the tea gardens of Assam I was confronted with stories which remain etched on my mind and heart. We were in the garden to a run kids clubs to raise awareness about human trafficking. A community meeting had been called for anyone who wished to attend and after we had introduced ourselves and explained what we were doing, the Community Leader asked if anyone had questions.

One by one people stood and their story was translated. They were all more or less the same. They told of their child or brother or sister being taken by an ‘agent’. When we asked what an agent was, they said they were employment or migration agents. They knew who they were, they were their neighbours and sometimes their relatives. They told of being offered money for their children to get an education and work out of the gardens. One even said that when they refused, their two daughters were kidnapped the next night.

Sometimes they had received news for a few months and money sent home. A part of the deception to make people believe they were ok. But eventually they had no further contact. Many had small photos to show us, tattered and faded, some sobbed.

NGOs working in the region believe that these missing children may have been deceived, lured away by false promises of a good job and a better future, and ultimately trafficked into exploitation.

We left the church building and wandered in smaller groups with the people as they showed us the extreme poverty they lived and worked in. Tiny houses where some had lived for generations which they adorned with pride but such adornment could not hide the cracks. We stepped over puddles made by broken pipes mixing drinking water with sewage. They told us of grinding picking quotas, in the stifling heat and humidity that I could hardly move through. No wonder these people were so easily tricked into the web of deception human traffickers weave. We saw workers without protection, spraying pesticides they were obtaining from drums that were leaking, and children working in the processing factory part of the garden. When I asked two of the young girls their age one said 13 and the other said 8. They were not the only ones.

Visiting Assam this time was a case of “where you stand determines what you see.” The view from the tea garden owners is that they are making a difference – clean water supplies, houses being repaired, drainage installed and programs to build resilient communities beginning. They asked us to acknowledge they are a good company and their positive actions. They are indeed taking the first steps. From the local people’s point of view, this is a tiny beginning and only happened because a spotlight was shone on the situation by the rest of the world. They asked us to keep shining that light. We must.

I will never watch an ad for tea in the same way. Now I know what is happening behind the tranquil scenery of this and many other gardens. We must speak out. This has to stop.

Carolyn

Carolyn Kitto, STOP THE TRAFFIK Australia Coordinator reporting back from her time visiting the tea plantations in Assam, India where she also delivered the Walk Free and STOP THE TRAFFIK petition to Tata and APPL.

Find out more about STOP THE TRAFFIK’s Not my cup of tea campaign: www.stopthetraffik.org

Find out more about Walk Free: www.walkfree.org

Walk Free ORG logos revised 27 03 13-09


On the road with Ruth Dearnley, STOP THE TRAFFIK CEO

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Wed, 01 Apr 2015 12:34:19 +0000

Ruth, the CEO of STOP THE TRAFFIK, recently travelled to the USA to meet with our growing number of activists who are developing some amazing work. In this blog she shares a reflection she wrote, inspired by the 50 year commemoration of events at Selma Bridge, Alabama in 1965.


It’s an extraordinary country.

I’ve been in the USA for a few weeks now and it has been a great privilege to meet so many wonderful people who are a part of the STOP THE TRAFFIK global movement.

I have visited 5 different states, skyped live into a STOP THE TRAFFIK event in a coffee shop in Boston, met numerous STOP THE TRAFFIK activists, people across business, government, faith groups, media, community leaders and NGOs. I have spent this time listening to what is taking place across the USA, what STOP THE TRAFFIK is already doing and what could be.

Currently I am staying with friends in the unique city of Atlanta and for the first time in my life I got the opportunity to sit and watch the Oscars ‘live’.

For all the hype and rhetoric it was worth watching to witness the breath taking moment when the cast and song writers performed the Oscar winning song ‘Glory from the filmSelma’. Selma is a historical drama based on the marches that took place 50 years ago and led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This film felt poignant as these events that took place not far from where I am staying and 1965 was the year I was born! There is something unique and powerful to be nearby where events took place, to be among the people, walk the streets, and to feel the passion and power of people’s plea for justice.

It reminded me afresh that we stand on the shoulders of great people who walked across bridges of division and sacrificed their lives for what is right.

How many more bridges must we cross to cry out for the rights of those who are excluded, ignored and forgotten?

How many more roads must we march along together calling for true glory to be seen, when all people become free and no one is brought and sold?

Thank you for being part of STOP THE TRAFFIK and for all you are doing.

Each of our footsteps count in the march of a global movement. You count.

Be encouraged and inspired by those who truly showed us how to march well and change history.”


If you would like to support STOP THE TRAFFIK please donate here: www.stopthetraffik.org/donate


Be a STOP THE TRAFFIK chocolate hero in your school

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Fri, 06 Mar 2015 17:19:12 +0000

This Easter you can join STOP THE TRAFFIK and help us campaign to end child trafficking in chocolate.

Download and use our three free lessons for ages 8-11 (key stage 2/3). Young people in your school will learn about what human trafficking is, feel equipped to take action to help prevent it, and excited to be empowered campaigners!

The lessons link human trafficking and chocolate focusing on our Easter campaign- we are asking supermarkets to stock more certified Easter eggs in 2016. Certified Easter eggs have the Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance or UTZ Certified mark which indicates that the chocolate was made in monitored conditions aimed to prevent human trafficking. Your pupils will be able to join hundreds of STOP THE TRAFFIK members from around the world in our specific Easter campaign actions by:
· Signing our petition: either themselves or asking friends and family to sign
· Delivering a postcard to their local supermarket: order your postcards here or download your own here >> bit.ly/EasterPC

Your pupils will also find out about William Wilberforce and how he helped end the transatlantic slave trade; discover where chocolate originates from and the chocolate making process; they will think about out how it might feel to have a price tag; and they will get hands on creating their own posters and campaign letters.

This learning journey will take young people from being learners to activists- finding out how they can have a positive impact and prevent social justice issues such as human trafficking, through their own actions and by influencing the actions of others.
You will all end up being STOP THE TRAFFIK classroom hero’s!

At STOP THE TRAFFIK we believe that young people have a vital role in preventing human trafficking, not only in knowing what it is so they can protect themselves and their friends, but also as future voices who can challenge a world where human trafficking currently thrives.

Each lesson includes lesson plans, info sheets for teachers, PowerPoints and activity resources.

Find out more about the lessons here: http://www.stopthetraffik.org/traffikfreeeaster
Download them here: http://www.stopthetraffik.org/campaign/traffikfreeeaster/what-you-can-do/340

Don’t forget to send us photos of your class in action or the posters you make- we’d love to see them! Email:info@stopthetraffik.org

 

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(f) information relating to any ACT group that you create or become a member of, Coordinator page you are in control of or Lead Activist page you are in control of (including the blogs you write, the events you post, the campaigns you are working on, the messages that you send, the galleries you create, the money you have fundraised for STOP THE TRAFFIK, the money you have fundraised to fund your own campaigning activities and the annual reports that you file with us).

 

(g) information relating to any donation you make to STOP THE TRAFFIK (including the amount, the currency, the type of donation, its duration where applicable and the day that recurring donations will be drawn where applicable);

 

(h) information relating to any reported incident of human trafficking that you make to STOP THE TRAFFIK (including the report details, who you reported it to, your address, the date of the report, your name, preferred language, email address and phone number). In this regard please do not report incidents of human trafficking in any public forum on the website. This information must be sent by way of secure email to us at info@stopthetraffik.org.

 

(2) Cookies

 

A cookie consists of a piece of text sent by a web server to a web browser, and stored by the browser. The information is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. This enables the web server to identify and track the web browser.

 

We use both "session" cookies and "persistent" cookies on the website. We will use the session cookies to: keep track of you whilst you navigate the website; remember you when you are logged in; and to suggest content that may be of interest to you. We will use the persistent cookies to: enable our website to recognise you when you visit;

 

Session cookies will be deleted from your computer when you close your browser unless you were signed into your account whilst visiting our website. We will store session cookies in your profile to help us personalise your experience and nothing else. Persistent cookies will remain stored on your computer until deleted, or until they reach a specified expiry date.

 

We use OpenCart software in relation to the purchase of products from our website. Cookies are used by OpenCart for your default language and currency settings and to remember the items that are in your basket.

 

When you make a donation please note that this is via the WorldPay platform. Please check WorldPay's privacy policy in relation to any cookies that may be downloaded from that site at http://www.worldpay.com/about_us/index.php?page=privacy&c=WW.

 

We use Google Analytics to analyse the use of this website. Google Analytics generates statistical and other information about website use by means of cookies, which are stored on users' computers. The information generated relating to our website is used to create reports about the use of the website. Google will store this information. Google's privacy policy is available at: http://www.google.com/privacypolicy.html. You can opt out of Google Analytics cookies by visiting http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

 

Most browsers allow you to reject all cookies, whilst some browsers allow you to reject just third party cookies. For example, in Internet Explorer you can refuse all cookies by clicking "Tools", "Internet Options", "Privacy", and selecting "Block all cookies" using the sliding selector. Blocking all cookies will, however, have a negative impact upon the usability of many websites, including this one.

 

(3) Using your personal information

 

Personal information submitted to us via this website will be used for the purposes specified in this privacy and cookies policy or in relevant parts of the website.

 

We may use your personal information to:

 

(a) administer the website;

 

(b) improve your browsing experience by personalising the website;

 

(c) enable your use of the services available on the website;

 

(d) send to you goods purchased via the website, and supply to you services purchased via the website;

 

(e) send statements and invoices to you, and collect payments from you;

 

(f) send you general (non-marketing) and non-commercial communications;

 

(g) send you email notifications which you have specifically requested;

 

(h) send to you our newsletter and other marketing communications relating to our Company Limited by Guarantee or Registered Charity which we think may be of interest to you by post or, where you have specifically agreed to this, by email or similar technology (you can inform us at any time if you no longer require marketing communications by emailing us at info@stopthetraffik.org);

 

(i) provide third parties with statistical information about our users (including the number of users on our website, their geographic locations and the types of activity they are undertaking) - but this information will not be used to identify any individual user;

 

(j) deal with enquiries and complaints made by or about you relating to the website;

 

(k) deal with reported incidents of human trafficking made by you to STOP THE TRAFFIK; and

 

(l) deal with media enquiries made by you to STOP THE TRAFFIK.

 

Where you submit personal information for publication on our website, unless it is entered into a secure form or area where the public do not have general access, we reserve the right to remove it.

 

We will not without your express consent provide your personal information to any third parties for the purpose of direct marketing.

 

All our website financial transactions are handled through our payment services provider, WorldPay. You can review the WorldPay privacy policy at http://www.worldpay.com/about_us/index.php?page=privacy&c=WW.

 

We will share information with WorldPay only to the extent necessary for the purposes of processing payments you make via our website and dealing with complaints and queries relating to such payments.

 

(4) Disclosures

 

We may disclose information about you to any of our employees, officers, agents, suppliers or subcontractors insofar as reasonably necessary for the purposes as set out in this privacy and cookies policy.

 

In addition, we may disclose your personal information:

 

(a) to the extent that we are required to do so by law;

 

(b) in connection with any legal proceedings or prospective legal proceedings;

 

(c) in order to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights (including providing information to others for the purposes of fraud prevention and reducing credit risk);

 

(d) to the purchaser (or prospective purchaser) of any business or asset that we are (or are contemplating) selling; and

 

(e) to any person who we reasonably believe may apply to a court or other competent authority for disclosure of that personal information where, in our reasonable opinion, such court or authority would be reasonably likely to order disclosure of that personal information.

 

Except as provided in this privacy and cookies policy, we will not provide your information to third parties.

 

(5) International data transfers

 

Information that we collect will not normally be stored and processed in or transferred to countries outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). We will only transfer data to countries outside of the EEA where that country has data protection laws equivalent to those in force in the EEA.

 

In addition, personal information that you submit for publication on the website will be published on the internet and may be available, via the internet, around the world. We cannot prevent the use or misuse of such information by others.

 

You expressly agree to such transfers of personal information.

 

(6) Security of your personal information

 

We will take reasonable technical and organisational precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal information.

 

We will store all the personal information you provide on our secure password- and firewall- protected servers. All electronic transactions and human trafficking incident reports you make to or receive from us will be encrypted using SSL technology.

 

Of course, data transmission over the internet is inherently insecure, and we cannot guarantee the security of data sent over the internet.

 

You are responsible for keeping your password and user details confidential. We will not ask you for your password (except when you log in to the website).

 

(7) Policy amendments

 

We may update this privacy and cookies policy from time-to-time by posting a new version on our website. You should check this page occasionally to ensure you are happy with any changes.

 

We may also notify you of changes to our privacy and cookies policy by email.

 

(8) Your rights

 

You may instruct us to provide you with any personal information we hold about you. Provision of such information will be subject to:

 

(a) the payment of a fee (currently fixed at £10.00); and

 

(b) the supply of appropriate evidence of your identity (for this purpose, we will usually accept a photocopy of your passport certified by a solicitor or bank plus an original copy of a utility bill showing your current address).

 

We may withhold such personal information to the extent permitted by law.

 

You may instruct us not to process your personal information for marketing purposes, by sending an email to info@stopthetraffik.org. In practice, you will usually either expressly agree in advance to our use of your personal information for marketing purposes, or we will provide you with an opportunity to opt-out of the use of your personal information for marketing purposes.

 

(9) Third party websites

 

The website contains links to other websites. We are not responsible for the privacy policies or practices of third party websites.

 

(10) Updating information

 

Please let us know if the personal information which we hold about you needs to be corrected or updated by sending an email to info@stopthetraffik.org.


(11) Contact

 

If you have any questions about this privacy and cookies policy or our treatment of your personal information, please write to us by email to info@stopthetraffik.org or by post to STOP THE TRAFFIK, 75 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7HS, United Kingdom

 

(12) Data controller

 

The data controller responsible in respect of the information collected on this website is STOP THE TRAFFIK

Our data protection registration number is Z3165593.

 

Our Charter

Our purpose: STOP THE TRAFFIK exists to end the buying and selling of people.
We are prevention focused; we prevent human trafficking by:

 

Our values:

 

As a member of STOP THE TRAFFIK, my commitment is:

  1. To work to further the purpose of STOP THE TRAFFIK as outlined by this charter 
  2. When I use the brand I will follow brand guidelines 
  3. When I fundraise I will follow the fundraising guidelines 
  4. When I collect data I will give all data collected to STOP THE TRAFFIK, the registered legal owner. 
  5. When I take action I will plan, stay safe and legal 
  6. To Work with other members whenever possible as greater impact can be achieved through collaboration.