If you have seen any suspicious or inappropriate activity please email us the details and a link to the page where possible to: report@stopthetraffik.org.uk

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How can you be a more ethical consumer?

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Thu, 04 Feb 2016 16:33:14 +0000


Photo Courtesy of: Good On You/Facebook

Last week Collectively published a list of the 6 best apps to help consumers be more conscious when purchasing food, clothing, and beauty products.

When STOP THE TRAFFIK launched a decade ago a market for apps like this didn’t exist so we are very excited to see that apps which encourage shoppers to be conscious are growing in popularity!

Of the 6 apps listed, we’ve earmarked 2 as being particularly helpful in helping consumers avoid purchasing products that may be associated with unscrupulous production practices or unethical corporate owners.

  1. BuyCott – This app gives users the ability to scan items and trace the ownership of the item’s brand. BuyCott users can use this information to create campaigns to cull support for or against a particular corporation and organize a boycott against purchasing the products produced by them. How STT activists can use it: Start a campaign and boycott brands who are known to have poor labour standards.
  2. Not My Style – Users of this app can learn about the transparency of certain clothing brands and what their production practices are like. How STT activists can use it: Before you buy, review the practices of the brand and see what behaviours you may be supporting through a purchase.

Do you have any favourite apps that help you be a more ethical consumer?

STOP THE TRAFFIK in today’s Financial Times

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Thu, 03 Dec 2015 11:16:08 +0000

Earlier this year we announced that we had been chosen as the Financial Times’ Seasonal appeal partner. Today that announcement became a reality as the paper published its first editorial story in support of the partnership.

Readers of the FT will have today learnt about the problem of human trafficking in China – just one of many forms in which this global crime manifests itself.

Commenting on the piece, Ruth Dearnley, CEO of STOP THE TRAFFIK says, “We are incredibly grateful to the FT for helping us shine a light on the global travesty of people trafficking. It is our greatest hope that this will lead to a step-change in public awareness of the extent, scale and complexities of the crime and that we will gain greater support in our mission to make communities resilient to the work of traffickers around the world.”

In the days to come, further editorial pieces will examine different aspects of human trafficking and each piece will be placed on a bespoke microsite to drive awareness of the partnership.

Please consider donating now to help us continue to shine a light in dark places and protect some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

New report shows how extended communities offer protection from trafficking

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Wed, 21 Oct 2015 15:15:14 +0000

STOP THE TRAFFIK works to help communities become resilient to human trafficking. We provide education about what human trafficking looks like, how it occurs and what to do in the event that someone is being trafficked. The more knowledge people in a community have about human trafficking, the more they can do to protect themselves and others around them.

But a community isn’t just a group of people living close to one another. Communities and the protection they provide can extend across the world through email, telephone and websites like Facebook.

Researchers at the University of Southern California have written a new report on the role these extended communities can play in cases of labour trafficking.  One key finding the researchers made is that these extended communities are an important source of protection against human trafficking. But they also found that creating these extended communities isn’t as simple as giving everyone phones and internet access – we’ll see that making extended resilient communities is a bit more complicated.

How labour trafficking happens

Many cases of people being trafficked into forced labour happen when people migrate to other countries for work. In an unfamiliar country, and often with little information about their rights and no support network, people are at the mercy of human traffickers posing as employers or recruitment agencies.

In countries like the Philippines people often place themselves in the hands of recruitment agencies, who arrange everything including jobs in the new country, as well as travel and visas.

Most of these agencies are legitimate, but some have the aim of trapping people and selling them into exploitation once they arrive in the new country. The researchers from USC interviewed one woman from the Philippines who was a survivor of domestic servitude in Qatar. She was trafficked by people posing as a recruitment agency who distributed leaflets in her village advertising jobs.

How being connected can prevent trafficking

There are different ways that access to mobile phones and internet can help protect people from being trafficked into forced labour.  With access to the internet, people would have the opportunity to research recruitment agencies to find out if they are legitimate. The woman trafficked to Qatar didn’t have the opportunity to research her recruitment agency – the only information she had was the leaflet the company distributed in her village.

A key way that being connected through phone and internet can protect people from trafficking is that it gives them access to these extended communities that act as support networks. A person can keep in touch and report their situation for friends and family, who can themselves look out for the indicators that the person is vulnerable to being exploited.

The USC researchers found that being isolated from support networks is a key sign of labour trafficking. They interviewed three women from the Philippines who migrated to other countries into jobs as domestic workers. The women said that it was standard practice for their phones to be confiscated by their recruitment agencies when they arrived at their destinations. One woman was unable to contact her relatives back home for a year.

Since the extended communities provided by internet and telephones offer such a key protection against human trafficking, it might seem that trafficking can be prevented by making sure people have access to these technologies. But it isn’t that simple. The USC report finds that as well as access to technologies, people also need education about human trafficking. Without knowledge about the nature of trafficking, people can have access to these networks but still find themselves at risk.

Why education about trafficking is essential

Having access to phones and internet is not by itself enough to help protect people from trafficking – people also need the skills and knowledge to find information and decide which information is trustworthy. Organisations like the Migrant Workers Overseas Welfare Adminstration and the Blas F. Ople centre have collaborated with Microsoft and Google to provide education programs for migrant workers on using the internet to verify information and seek assistance.

But as well as knowing how to use technology, people also need to know about the nature of human trafficking if they are going to use this technology to protect themselves and others in their community. Without knowledge about the signs of trafficking and what to do if somebody is being trafficked, friends and family will be unable to let the right people know when they’re being trafficked.

USC researchers interviewed a woman from the Phillipines who applied to a job as a domestic worker in the Middle East. But the recruitment agency suddenly changed plans – the woman was put on a boat going to Malaysia, and on arrival was made to stay in a hotel room for a number of days. The woman was worried about her situation and texted a friend for reassurance. The friend repeatedly told the woman that everything was normal despite the woman feeling more and more uneasy about her situation.

As the woman was being transported to another destination in a van, it was stopped by Malaysian police and everyone in the van – including the woman – was put in a Malaysian jail. She managed to hide her phone when entering the jail and got a message out to Philippine officials who oversaw her release. She is now at a shelter in the Philippines.

In this case, the woman had access to a mobile phone and contacted her friend when she became suspicious about her situation. But the friend was unable to recognise the signs that the woman was being trafficked and so was unable to help her. More knowledge about the signs of trafficking could have helped.

Resilient communities

So, being connected through phones and the internet can be a huge factor in protecting people from human trafficking. If they can be connected to their friends and family even when they are in another country it is more likely that they will be able to avoid human traffickers or get the right help if they find that they are being targeted by traffickers. But education and awareness about human trafficking still remains key in protecting people from traffickers.

Social Media: Help or Hindrance in the Fight Against Trafficking?

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Fri, 25 Sep 2015 09:03:29 +0000

Social media makes it easy to connect with people all over the world – and by doing so it also presents many opportunities for traffickers to deceive and exploit vulnerable people. Thanks to many awareness-raising campaigns over the years, people in some areas of the world are well aware of the need to be cautious of strangers on the internet. But this message is still of constant importance, as traffickers are still finding new ways to connect with and exploit people using social media.

But as well as giving traffickers ways to target people, social media also equips us with many new tools in the fight against trafficking. And, as we’ll see, these tools have been used by anti-trafficking groups in sometimes dramatic and surprising ways.

How do human traffickers use social media?

The fact that many people are well aware of the dangers of the internet does make it harder for traffickers to gain the trust of their targets. But with the opportunity to connect with so many people, traffickers are able to find those who are in situations where they are vulnerable.

In one case, Hope, a 17-year old girl from the US, made a social media post saying she hated her mother – and immediately received a reply from a woman offering her a place to stay away from home. The woman picked Hope up just 45 minutes later and drove her to a motel. But here it became clear what the woman’s true motives were – Hope was drugged and trafficked for sex across 8 states before finally being rescued three weeks later.

Trafficking through social media is also a problem in areas of the world where messages about internet safety aren’t as common. Indonesia is one of the world’s top Facebook users with 50 million people signed up to the site – and its capital Jakarta is the most active Twitter city in the world according to social media company Semiocast.  But according to this article investigating trafficking through social media, people in Indonesia are unaware of the dangers of posting personal information online. Teenagers often post personal photos, addresses and phone numbers online, leaving themselves more open to those who want to exploit them.

Social media in the fight against human trafficking

Crowdsourcing for immediate action

One very direct case of using the internet’s people power to stop trafficking happened in 2010, when a US man named Dan Reetz posted ‘Help me help my friend in D.C’.

The post appealed for information about a former student of his, a Russian woman who was travelling with a female friend. The women had answered an advert that promised legitimate work in Washington, D.C. But when they arrived in the US their contact changed the details – and now told them to travel to New York City, with promises of hostess work at a lounge. Dan Reetz suspected his friend was being trafficked.

Within a few minutes of the post people were offering information and support – they called human trafficking hotlines and the Russian embassy in Washington, researched the lounge where the women were promised work and offered places to stay for the women. Finally someone who saw the post went to meet the women at the bus depot in New York and was able to convince them not to meet their suspicious contact.

Infiltrating Facebook groups

One group in Madagascar is taking on the responsibility for raising awareness. The Zà Association [link] found that the messages about traffickers’ use of social media were not being heard by a wide enough audience in Madagascar. So they took it upon themselves to ‘infiltrate’ 250 Malagasy Facebook groups and distribute messages of awareness about human trafficking.

Campaigning and raising awareness

At STOP THE TRAFFIK we aim to raise awareness about the nature of trafficking so people can safeguard themselves and others from trafficking – and the internet is one of the best ways to get the message out there.

Our Make Fashion Traffik-Free and Traffik-Free Chocolate campaigns have used social media to bring together thousands of people willing to use their consumer power to pressure big companies to stamp out human trafficking in their supply chains. From flooding big companies with tweets, to signing online petitions, to sharing awareness-raising videos and images with their friends, social media has empowered thousands of our supporters to make a difference.

Though the connectedness provided by the internet and social media gives traffickers more ways to reach vulnerable people it also gives more ways to work together to prevent human trafficking. Trafficking is a global crime, and using the internet and social media gives us the opportunity to join together across our global community to stop it.

The 5 Biggest Misconceptions About Human Trafficking

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Fri, 11 Sep 2015 13:07:04 +0000

At STOP THE TRAFFIK we work to raise awareness of human trafficking, because this is one of the best ways to protect those who are targeted by human traffickers. By learning about the nature of human trafficking, we can make it harder for human traffickers to hide their crimes and empower communities to recognise and disrupt the tactics of human traffickers.

Since knowledge is one of our main tools for disrupting the activities of traffickers, misconceptions about the nature of human trafficking can be harmful to the fight against the buying and selling of people. Confusions about what trafficking is, how it can take place, or  what it looks like mean that spotting and preventing trafficking in communities is all the more difficult.

So, here are 5 of the biggest myths about human trafficking and the actual truths they conceal.

MYTH 1: Human trafficking always takes place in illegal industries

It’s true that some cases of human trafficking take place within illegal industries. Children or teenagers are forced to work in cannabis ‘factories’ set up in residential premises. , forced into sex work or sometimes even bought and sold for organ harvesting.

But one of the big problems is that human trafficking is part of supply chains of companies selling everyday products like tea, chocolate and clothes. People are made to work in terrible conditions, and not given the pay that they were told they would receive. Big companies often don’t even know where the materials products come from – but it is their responsibility to know and to make sure their products aren’t coming from forced labor. STOP THE TRAFFIK campaigns for companies to root out human trafficking in their supply chains.

MYTH2: People who are being trafficked will always try to seek help

Human traffickers often use psychological means of control over those they are trafficking – such threats and deception. The trafficker might threaten to harm a person’s family if he escapes, or may make promises about the pay the person will receive.

This means that people who are being trafficked may not seek help even if they are in public places or situations where people could be made aware of their circumstances. They may be afraid of the consequences if they do, or they may be getting deceived by human traffickers. If you suspect someone is being trafficked, the fact that they aren’t trying to get help doesn’t mean that they are okay.

MYTH 3: People who are trafficked are always taken by force

Traffickers often prey on people who are already in vulnerable situations. Their biggest tools are deception and psychological manipulation, which means they often don’t use force to take away peoples’ freedom.

In Tamil Nadu, India, traffickers visit poor and marginalized communities to persuade parents to sign up their daughters for employment in textiles factories. They will give false promises about the hours, wages and working conditions – and will even show parents pictures of modern, clean buildings as examples of where their daughters will be working. Given these promises, the parents willingly send their daughters away to the factories. But the reality is that the girls sent off with the traffickers will be forced to work long hours in hazardous conditions, and most do not even receive the pay they were promised.

MYTH 4: Statistics on trafficking are accurate

Trafficking is a criminal industry based on secrecy – which means that data is difficult to collect and concrete statistics about the scale of human trafficking are hard to come by. The figures quoted by many news sources, even if presented as hard facts, are often just estimates made by experts based on limited number of human trafficking cases that have been detected.

At STOP THE TRAFFIK we use the most credible and frequently quoted statistics, but we always make sure to emphasise that these are just estimates.

MYTH 5: Traffickers only target those in poorer communities

Although some forms of trafficking are more prevalent in poor and rural communities, traffickers can operate anywhere, in any country and in any community. Just because a person is from a developed country or a relatively affluent situation doesn’t mean that they are not at risk from traffickers’ deception and manipulation.

STOP THE TRAFFIK has worked with Sophie Hayes – a woman from the UK who is a survivor of human trafficking and who has now written a book about her experiences set up a foundation to combat sex trafficking and exploitation. Sophie’s situation was very different from living in poverty or in a small rural village – and her story shows that anyone could be targeted by traffickers.

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We may collect, store and use the following kinds of personal information:


(a) information about your computer and about your visits to and use of this website (including your IP address, geographical location, browser type and version, operating system, referral source, length of visit, page views and website navigation);


(b) information relating to any transactions carried out between you and us on or in relation to this website, including information relating to any purchases you make of our goods or services (including your name, second name, email address, invoice address, delivery address, items that you have purchased, dates of purchases, purchase methods, groups you are a part of, messages you send to other users, the map markers you plot, the events you organise, the events you attend and your username);


(c) information that you provide to us for the purpose of registering with us (including your acceptance of this websites terms of use, first name, second name, email address, date of birth, address, preferred language, organisation type, whether you work for an anti-trafficking organisation and a contact first name, second name, position, phone number, mobile phone number and email address if you are registering as an organisation);


(d) information that you provide to us for the purpose of subscribing to our website services, email notifications and newsletters (including your first name, second name and email address);


(e) any other information that you choose to send to us; and


(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.