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In 2021, we collaborated on an awareness raising program, that shared information about human trafficking with students at educational institutions across Lithuania.
At STOP THE TRAFFIK, we believe that education is key in preventing human trafficking. By understanding the risks, how to spot the signs and take actions to stay safe, children and young people can protect themselves and others from exploitation. This view is shared by the National Agency for Education Lithuania and the British Embassy in Vilnius.
The project was initiated by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, who identified a potential knowledge gap among students across Lithuania about human trafficking, as well as a lack of resources about this topic for educational facilities.
STOP THE TRAFFIK videos and resources from a previous Lithuania campaigns were shared with students across schools and colleges for the purpose of this bespoke education programme. The National Agency for Education provided additional materials for teachers to accompany the sessions and guidance for structured classroom debate following the screening of the videos. They also trained specialists how to run the sessions (screening the videos and facilitating the class discussions.)
Some achievements of this initiative include:
The student’s survey responses indicate they found the resources useful and gained knowledge about trafficking and how to spot the signs of risk situations.
Some students noted that before seeing the videos, they were unaware of the more subtle forms of recruitment like deception and false promises of work. Some noted they weren’t previously aware that support organisations existed that offer help and advice.
The project highlighted that there is a need for resources and sessions in schools and this work should continue, to ensure young people are aware of trafficking risks, how to spot the signs of a potentially exploitative offer and how to keep themselves, and others safe from exploitation.
STOP THE TRAFFIK have a history of running prevention initiatives in Lithuania. Between 2018 and 2019, we ran a series of social media geo-targeted awareness campaigns that aimed to spread awareness of human trafficking among the Lithuanian community living in the UK and people living in Lithuania who were considering travelling abroad for work. We worked in partnership with the leading anti-trafficking NGO in Lithuania, KOPZI (Centre Against Human Trafficking and Exploitation) and The Missing Persons’ Families Support Centre, Lithuania.
These iniatives were a response to reports of Lithuanian nationals being offered work in the UK, and on arrival, forced to work long hours for little pay or no pay, and subjected to other exploitative actions. The campaigns aimed to share information about the risks, and how to seek advice and support before accepting an offer to work in the UK.
Campaign resources were developed in the form of videos, landing pages and surveys. STOP THE TRAFFIK were approached by the National Agency for Education, who requested that these campaign resources be adapted and used in schools across Lithuania.