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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Chocolate unwrapped: the truth behind your chocolate

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Fri, 28 Mar 2014 15:52:15 +0000

Easter Egg image

With Easter fast approaching, the cravings for chocolate are kicking in! The rich, indulgent appeal of chocolate is just too tempting to pass up. When Easter rolls around, I usually cannot wait to pick up the nearest gooey Cadbury’s Crème Egg.

But did you know the darker side of chocolate?

  1. Estimates of child labour on cocoa farms in the Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana, vary from 300,000 to 1 million between 2007-2013. [1]We know that a portion of these children have been trafficked.
  2. Thousands of boys as young as 10yrs old, from the Cote D’Ivoire and neighbouring countries, are trafficked to pick and harvest these beans.
  3.  The freedom of children is taken and they are forced to work long hours on the cocoa plantations without receiving any money for their work.

We’ve been campaigning with your help since 2007 to unearth the darker side of chocolate – and to introduce companies to the hidden side of their supply chain. Global chocolate companies have the power to change the industry. We, as consumers, have the power to show chocolate companies that we care about who makes our chocolate.

We know that the chocolate companies have heard our demands. Over the past few years, there has been a wave of promises to change. Carolyn Kitto, from STOP THE TRAFFIK Australia, says, “The cocoa industry has been quick to promise and slow to deliver. We are not talking about small companies without the capacity to act.”

Mondelez has achieved one chocolate of five in our Chocolate Box

Mondelez has achieved one chocolate of five in our Chocolate Box – The Big 5 Ranked

Ferrero have stated they will purchase a total of 20,000 tonnes of Fairtrade certified cocoa over the next three years. Haigh’s has certified its entire Easter range with UTZ Certified: 70% of the beans they source from around the world now come from UTZ Certified farms. This is a major endorsement for both Fairtrade and the fight for #traffikfreechocolate.

Mondelēz International, owners of Cadbury’s and Milka, are lagging behind. This Easter we’re urging Mondelēz International to set a public deadline for their certification of their entire chocolate range. This means we want to see a Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance or UTZ Certified logo on every chocolate product.

This Easter we have range of simple campaign actions. We believe no child should have to be trafficked to make our chocolate this year. Please join this journey towards #traffikfreechocolate:

  1. We want Mondelēz International to hear us loud and clear, as together we say, we want certified chocolate this Easter. Please sign our petition – let’s deliver 10,000 signatures to them by the end of Easter Sunday.
  2. We have launched a thunderclap! You can show your support of this campaign and spread the message via your social media platforms. The thunderclap will send a simultaneous tweet, amplifying our campaign message, on April 17th. Join us!
  3. Post a message on Mondeléz’s Facebook page asking them to take action.

Mondeléz are the largest chocolate company in the world, owning some of the top chocolate brands. They have the ability to make a huge difference within the chocolate industry.

Only with your help can we apply pressure to Mondeléz and show them we care about child trafficking within the chocolate industry.

Lend us your support for #traffikfreechocolate this Easter.


Behind the scenes of London #fashionweek…

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Fri, 28 Feb 2014 21:40:14 +0000

Behind the scenes of LFWend

London fashion week for many is four days of glitz, glamour and elation as reams of clothes spill out of designer’s sketchbooks onto the runway. For four days, articles pop up on our favourite fashion magazines dissecting everything from the length of hems to the latest prints on sheepskin jackets…

And, like many others, I count myself as one of those people who just can’t resist the intrigue of an industry that is built around its aesthetic value.

Which is how I found myself arriving, last week, at London fashion weekend, gleefully armed with a free tote bag and goodies. Lured in by the stacks of striking dresses at reduced prices in dozens of pretty rooms, it was hard to see how something as nice on the eye as a beautifully cut, sequinned, cotton t-shirt could do any harm.

But we know it does.

Cotton T-shirtsBehind the scenes of London #FashionWeek, and the Weekend showcase, is a complex supply chain. The cotton t-shirt that I stood admiring, and wondering if my bank balance would ever stretch to accommodate, was as likely as any other to have passed through many hands, through various mills and factories, to the fashion house that would carefully place it upon its shiny rails.

And of the many hands that could have been responsible for its making, could have been a young woman or girl with a story like Ms A.J.  Ms A.J was taken to a mill by a human trafficker, and was employed in the cleaning section of a spinning mill. She had been told by the mill’s management that she would receive 3000 rupees after completing three years of work.

Ms A.J was not provided with a monthly salary – just food and accommodation. While on the scheme, she was beaten by other workers, and could not tell her parents what was happening to her. She had no money and could not escape from the mill. Social Action and Voluntary Awareness (SAVE) heard Ms AJ’s story and met her – they told her story to a court, who heard her complaints, and demanded she be freed.

Ms A.J was part of the hidden side of the supply chain, the part that is often given less attention.

Volunteer behind the scenes of LFWInspired by her story, and buoyed to take action to draw attention to the too often unnoticed section of the cotton supply chain, I approached a high-street fashion retailer the next day to deliver my postcard for the Make Fashion Traffik-Free campaign. It became clear, throughout my conversation with a sales assistant, that we all want our clothes, wherever we buy them, to be traffik-free.

Next time I visit London fashion week, I want to be able to gaze, guilt-free, at t-shirts that were made by people paid more than 98p per day. I want the hands my cotton passes through to be ones that see all the benefits of fair labour practices.

Behind the scenes of London #FashionWeek are 200,000 young women and girls trafficked into spinning mills in Tamil Nadu, India. Together, let’s make that change. Join me, and take action, by delivering a post-card to your favourite high-street shop.

The lengths people go to – to STOP THE TRAFFIK

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Fri, 07 Feb 2014 17:22:51 +0000


Flowing into our inbox this week have been stories of genuine creativity and ingenuity from our supporters. One of our supporters is literally going to great lengths to STOP THE TRAFFIK; or, should we say, cutting off those lengthy locks to go bald in the name of a good cause. We spoke to Matthew Morton, leader of the University of East Anglia STOP THE TRAFFIK group, who said, ‘Just before Christmas 2013 I took the step of pledging to shave off my hair (my beautiful, long, curly, tenderly conditioned, flowing hair) to raise money for STOP THE TRAFFIK.’

Matthew’s quirky fundraising campaign has struck a chord. Clearly attached to his long locks, and passionate about the prevention of human trafficking, he has exceeded his original fundraising goal of £3,500. The great lengths he has gone to have paid off – at the time of writing, Matthew has raised £4,190.00 thanks to the generosity of people like you.

Matthew is linked into a global network of STOP THE TRAFFIK supporters, all going to great lengths to raise awareness of human trafficking. In New York, our volunteers have persevered through the biting cold, and snow, to attract attention to the issue of human trafficking with GIFT Box USA. The GIFT Box is an interactive exhibit that aims to educate, and inspire action, around human trafficking: people are lured inside the big, colourful, box, before being confronted with the realities of the trafficking trade, as told by survivors.

The USA volunteers have donated their time generously, and gathered over 1,000 signatures since they’ve been stationed in Union Square. Our CEO, Ruth Dearnley, joined them this week, and spoke passionately about those involved: “It is a privilege to work alongside others, who believe that together we can STOP THE TRAFFIK.”

Meanwhile, in a similarly creative vein, STOP THE TRAFFIK Canada has been galvanising supporters into joining their flash mob, taking place on 8th March. They’re asking people to STOP, in the name of LOVE… A reminder that a little love, and a great dance, can help change the world – if we all take action.

Ruth Dearnley, our CEO, is often asked what ‘stop’ looks like. She says it looks like this: global supporters, coming together, going to great and creative lengths, all to raise awareness of human trafficking.

We would love to hear what you’re doing to stop the traffik in your community. Please send us your creative ideas, stories and photos so we can share them with activists around the world – at intern@stopthetraffik.org.

Are You a #FashionVictim?

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Fri, 17 Jan 2014 18:40:40 +0000

If you were pressed, would you admit to being a fashion victim? Have a think: how many clothes have you bought in the past week, month or year? You might secretly admit to being a fashion victim because you buy clothes you don’t necessarily need but you just can’t live without…

But do you know who made the clothes you are wearing?

It is a little known fact that over 200,000 young women and girls are trafficked to work in the cotton industry in the Tamil Nadu region of India. Thousands of European and North American brands and retailers regularly source their clothes from Tamil Nadua in India, for a total value of around 80 million Euros. This means that trafficked women and girls might have made the clothes you and I are wearing – clothes bought from well-known high street retailers.

Think you’re a fashion victim? Think again.

These are the real fashion victims: the women and girls who spin and weave the clothes that we find in our favourite clothing retailers, branded with our favourite clothing labels.

Women and girls as young as 14 are trafficked into The Sumangali Scheme, which operates under the guise of an ‘apprenticeship opportunity’. Registered as apprentices, instead of as workers, they work for 12 hours a day (the legal limit is 8 hours) and are often required to do up to 4 hours of overtime – for no additional pay.

We believe everyone involved in the making of our clothes should have the right to a healthy and safe working environment – and we think that you have the right to know where your cotton comes from. Speaking to Voice of Russia, our CEO Ruth Dearnley said, “The responsibility is on the retailers, they need to be accountable for the profits they are making. Responsibility is also on us. I want to be able to put on clothes that are traffik free. Those girls today are connected in our global family to what I’m wearing.”

Our supply chains mean that when I put my clothes on in the morning, I’m connected to that 14-year-old girl,” says Dearnley. “I may never see her but she is providing the cotton and weaving and spinning it.

We have been to India and met some of the girls who experienced the scheme. They asked us for one thing: to go and tell people what is going on, and to stop the scheme. We promised them we would.

We want to end the Sumangali scheme and end Make Fashion Traffik-Free, but in order to achieve this, we need you! Change only happens when we work together.

As consumers, together we have a very powerful voice. Together we can change the fashion industry. Most people think that the way they shop isn’t going to do anything – but it does. As a valued customer at your favourite brand or retailer, your voice matters. Next time you are out shopping, take a signed Make Fashion Traffik-Free postcard into your favourite high street retailer urging them to take action. Together we can Make Fashion Traffik-Free.

You can follow the debate on Twitter by using the hash-tag #fashionvictim. Read the rest of Ruth’s interview with Voice of Russia here:  UK fashion retailers urged to scrutinise supply chains to curb trafficking.

Running up that hill

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Fri, 20 Dec 2013 17:30:54 +0000

It was a very big white van, a very narrow cobbled street and I was grateful not to be in the driver’s seat.

There were 17 of us with our luggage squashed in the back. We had stopped.

Our route from Rio airport to the destination at the summit would give us panoramic views across this incredible Brazilian city of Rio.

But we were stuck. The van had reached one of the countless tight corners only to encounter a parked removal lorry.

Coming down the hill was a famous yellow Rio taxi. He was faced with the challenge of negotiating the walls, the kerbs, the cobbles and the fact that there was only a fraction of an inch to spare! Everyone in the van gasped as flashes of yellow edged past us and we all heard each other inhale deeply believing it would give the driver an advantage.

Behind us the queue of taxis was growing.

Our celebrations were short lived. Freedom was not at hand. Another taxi poked its cheeky yellow nose around the corner insisting in its right to keep us parked and to find its way, past us, down the hill.

And then another.

And another.

We were stuck.

We were trapped.

We had been parked for 40 minutes with a yellow tail stretching behind us as far as the eye could see in the mirror behind. This was not going to stop.

The removal lorry remained unmoved by its guilt. Yet from behind the passenger door appeared a young man who had been carrying precious cargo to and from the newly purchased home.

I caught his gaze as he glimpsed the crisis.

Suddenly he dropped his load onto the pavement and began to run to the top of the hill.  We lost sight of him but I knew where he was going. I could imagine him, heart pumping, legs pounding, reaching the brow of the hill, placing himself firmly in the middle of the road and signally firmly to all traffik intent on descending to STOP.

10 minutes later the continuous stream of traffik had carefully passed us and there in front of us was the incredible miraculous sight of a clear road.

Cheering, breathing and moving we revved our way round the bend, up the hill and came face to face with our saviour. He grinned as we passed him.

He had known the truth that we were searching for.

If we want to stop the traffik we have to get to the top of the hill and disrupt the system. We cannot stop the traffik waiting on the bend recusing one taxi at a time to escape down the hill.

We need to raise a generation of people across every community willing to climb to the top of the hill and shout STOP.

Join us and be part of STOP THE TRAFFIK in 2014!


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(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.