Today is Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day, with all efforts focused on raising smiles – and some money – for great causes.
Comic Relief has been supporting STOP THE TRAFFIK’s work through our project ‘’Aman Safety’’ since 2020. It is a 5-year project running from 2020-2025, funded by Comic Relief through its programme “Across Borders: Routes to Safety for Refugees”.
The project looks to raise awareness and prevent human trafficking and exploitation of refugees and asylum seekers as they seek sanctuary in Greece and Türkiye.
It ensures vital safety information reaches people on the move in their language and connects them with trusted support organisations on the ground. The populations targeted are those fleeing from countries such as Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cameroon, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
With the support of Comic Relief, more than 550,000 refugees and migrants seeking sanctuary in Greece and Türkiye have been reached so far through 4 different social media geo-targeted campaigns in 7 languages, sharing vital safety information.
Approximately 200 refugees at risk of human trafficking and exploitation were signposted to safety through our campaigns, which also provided the contact details of support organisations on the ground.
Running this project, we were contacted by many young people who saw our campaign and reached out to us, talking about their experiences. We helped them to receive support and seek safety from exploitation.
One of them was a young person from Afghanistan. He lived in a closed camp in Lesbos. He feared deportation and was told he had to pay for a lawyer. He was considering selling his organs out of desperation for money to pay for this.
We advised him of the dangerous situation he was considering and the potential risks. We assured him that he was entitled to legal aid and connected him to an organisation that could provide shelter and free legal support.
You can read more about his story here.
He was finally granted asylum, so he no longer faces the threat of deportation. He is attending school and currently learning English and Greek language. Thanks to the support he has received, he is no longer considering putting himself in high-risk situations.
Being able to run this project is vital, as displaced populations experience poverty, lack of safe migration and asylum routes, lack of labour rights, and lack of information in their language, all of which increase their vulnerability.
Human trafficking relies upon the recruitment of at-risk communities. No one willingly enters exploitation. Recruitment often involves grooming, deceit, and false promises; Traffickers take advantage of this, preying upon and recruiting refugees and asylum seekers aiming to profit from their vulnerability.
We are so grateful to Comic Relief for enabling us to have such an impact on the lives of many vulnerable people. We could not do it without their support, and we wish Comic Relief the very best for a fantastic Red Nose Day.
To find out more about our work, you can find our latest campaign report here.