STOP THE TRAFFIK (STT) is innovating human trafficking prevention by bringing together partners from every sector to share data and using technology to stop trafficking. It’s also leading the way in Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL): finding new ways to understand the effectiveness of our actions and increasing our impact.
Recently, our MEL work uncovered one of the ways our systemic approach is impactful in identifying and preventing human trafficking.
In 2013, STT’s Finance Against Trafficking developed the first human trafficking red-flag framework aimed at financial services organisations. This revolutionary report highlighted signs of potential risk in financial flows that may indicate human trafficking. Following from the framework, we were asked to take part in developing the European Banking Alliance’s toolkit which includes red-flag indicators and case studies to help bank employees recognise traffickers. The toolkit, published in 2017, has been shared with financial services organisations such as Barclays, HSBC, Western Union, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank, Santander, UBS and Commerzbank.
In 2018, our intelligence identified Cambridgeshire and the Fenlands District in the UK as human trafficking hotspots. In response to this, we decided to run a multi-phase campaign in the area, building on the red-flags toolkit.
As part of this campaign we worked with our long-standing partners Barclays Bank and the Cambridgeshire police, training frontline staff in local branches on how to spot potential signs of trafficking. On top of this, we ran a social media campaign with enthusiastic local partners such as local authorities, NGOs and faith groups.
The campaign’s impact was huge.
It reached thousands of people, prompted online and offline discussion, raised people’s awareness of their labour rights and introduced them to other organisations where they could seek advice and support. It also led them to change their behaviour in potential HT situations in the future.
Building on intelligence to develop the red-flag toolkit, and then bringing together community actors from local government, law enforcement, banking and civil society made all the difference. Barclays Bank recorded an increase in internal reporting of suspicious behaviour in the area, while the public said they would change their response to potential HT situations. This is how we STOP THE TRAFFIK.