About Human Trafficking

Q: What is the simplest way to explain human trafficking?

The commonly accepted international definition of human trafficking comes from the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, which is one of three Protocols known collectively as the Palermo Protocols. The best way to understand human trafficking is to split it into its three elements; each element must be present to establish a case of trafficking. Ask yourself – has there been:

The ACT – What is done

e.g. recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons.

The MEANS – How it is done

e.g. threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or position of vulnerability, giving or receiving of payments/benefits.

The PURPOSE – Why it is done

e.g. prostitution, sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery, servitude, removal of organs.

Where the suspected victim is a child, it’s only necessary to demonstrate that the ‘act’ and ‘exploitation’ elements exist. Read more on our Human Trafficking pages.

Q: Is it only human trafficking if victims are transported across national borders?

No! The Protocol recognizes a number of ‘acts’ (transfer, recruitment, harbouring or receipt of persons) but it doesn’t specify that those actions need to cross borders. When someone is moved from place to place or town to town within a country as a result of transport, transfer, recruitment, harboring or receipt of persons they are also trafficked. This kind of trafficking within a country is called ‘internal trafficking’. When a person has moved or been moved across a national border it is ‘external trafficking’. Both types are prohibited by the Protocol. Read more on our Human Trafficking pages.

Q: What if people travel willingly to the country where they are exploited?

The Protocol answers this question. Take ‘Jacob’ as an example. Jacob responds to a job posting offering certain wages and accommodation for work in a UK city. This seems a great opportunity and Jacob travels to the city willingly. Jacob has been recruited for work by the person who posted the advertisement and he has transported himself; either the recruitment or the transport is enough to satisfy the ‘act’ element from the Protocol’s definition of trafficking.

When Jacob arrives for the job he’s told he has to pay off the cost of the accommodation he’s offered but with deductions for food and transport to and from work, and with the unreasonably low wages Jacob will never have enough money to pay off the accommodation. Now he’s trapped in a cycle of debt. Jacob was promised certain work and conditions but the promise has turned out to be false; he was deceived into travelling to the UK city, that deception is the ‘means’ element of the definition.

The fact that Jacob works for no real pay because of all those unreasonable deductions means he is being exploited. He is a victim of exploitation for forced labour. The labour is forced because he does it under ‘menace or penalty’, the penalty being that he must pay off his debt. Jacob transported himself (‘act’), he did this because he was deceived (‘means’) and now he’s been exploited to work for no real pay (‘exploitation’). Jacob is a trafficking victim, despite having made his initial journey to the UK freely. Read more on our Human Trafficking pages.

Q: What if people aren’t kept captive physically, is that still trafficking?

The Protocol outlines ‘means’ of trafficking and this includes some physical ‘means’ such as use of force or abduction. This kind of physical confinement and rough handling is what we most often associate with trafficking; a girl tied to a bed, a guy locked in a trailer. However, the ‘means’ of trafficking can often be psychological or emotional manipulation such as a threat against the victim’s family or the long-term ‘grooming’ of a victim to believe the trafficker is their lover or friend. Traffickers may manipulate their victims by creating fear of others; there have been instances of traffickers dressing as police officers before raping a victim. Acts like this falsely convince a victim that the police cannot be trusted and should be feared. There has been an increasing trend of traffickers targeting vulnerable groups in society for recruiting victims. Their vulnerabilities make them easy to control without needing to resort to physical measures. Common examples include alcoholics and the homeless. Read more on our Human Trafficking pages.

Q: Is there really a lot of trafficking in the US, UK or Norway? Isn’t it a ‘developing world’ problem?

Trafficking is a global problem and it’s happening in our communities, perhaps even on our street. It is now thought to be the third biggest criminal enterprise in the world.

The International Labour Organization estimates that forced labour in the private economy generates US$150 billion in illegal profits per year. Since people pay more for services in ‘developed’ nations, there is more profit to be made from forced labour and sex trafficking in nations like our own than in ‘developing’ countries. Read more on our Human Trafficking pages.

Q: How trustworthy are the statistics?

It’s impossible to know the exact number of victims of human trafficking that exist because it’s a crime that happens mostly out of the public eye and within a criminal underground. For this reason all statistics should be treated as estimates and not as indisputable fact, figures should be interpreted with a margin either way; the real number could be bigger or smaller. What is indisputable is the existence of human trafficking and its presence in our nation; the debate over the reliability of particular statistics can detract from that important truth to the detriment of those caught up in a web of slavery and exploitation. Read the stories of survivors.

Statistics are estimates, they are an educated guess. Some people may think that there is no value to a ‘guess’ of any sort, but with human trafficking being conducted so successfully out of the public eye, half of the battle is awareness. If we can get people to think about trafficking, we can teach them to recognise trafficking indicators and we can make it significantly more difficult for traffickers to operate in the UK. With any statistic it is vital to know the exact source and that is why Hope for Justice takes care to fully reference statistics.

The most reliable estimate on global numbers is that by the International Labour Organization, a specialised agency of the UN. Its current estimate (2017) is 24.9 million people in forced labour, sexual exploitation or domestic servitude, plus another 15.4 million in forced marriage.

In the UK, work by the Home Office Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Bernard Silverman, has estimated that in 2013 there were between 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims of modern slavery in the UK. However, in August 2017, the National Crime Agency (NCA) suggested that figure was too low and that there are actually ‘tens of thousands’ of victims. Will Kerr, the NCA’s Director of Vulnerabilities, said: “The growing body of evidence we are collecting points to the scale being far larger than anyone had previously thought. The intelligence we are gaining is showing that there are likely to be far more victims out there, and the numbers of victims in the UK has been underestimated.”

Q: How can I recognize trafficking in my own community?

Each case of trafficking looks different although there are some common indicators of trafficking and more specific ones for each type of trafficking. The existence of any one or even a number of indicators is not proof of trafficking but combined with your best judgement it is sensible to report any concerns about an individual or yourself to Hope for Justice. Learn to spot the signs here.

Q: What should I do if I suspect trafficking?

If yourself or someone else is in immediate danger, call the police. If you or someone else is not in immediate danger, or you have already spoken to the police, contact Hope for Justice:

Reporting in the UK:
Contact Hope for Justice on 0300 008 8000 (local rate call) or email info.uk@hopeforjustice.org

Reporting in the US:
Contact Hope for Justice on (615) 840-6460 or email info.us@hopeforjustice.org. Alternatively, contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) on 1-888-373-7888, or submit an anonymous tip on the NHTRC website.

Reporting in other countries:

Contact local law enforcement.

If you report potential trafficking activity to Hope for Justice, we will endeavour to keep you informed about the progress of the case. However, the information we gather following a report is often subject to confidentiality. For that reason, while we understand you may want to be kept fully informed because you are passionate about anti-human trafficking efforts, this is not always possible or appropriate.

About Hope for Justice

Q: What is Hope for Justice’s strategy to combat human trafficking?

Hope for Justice has a strategy based on ‘Rescue, Restore and Reform’. Hope for Justice operates in Cambodia, Norway, the US and the UK, but doesn’t currently operate all programme areas in all countries. Find out more about What We Do here.

Rescue: Our specialist investigators work closely with police and law enforcement agencies to identify victims of modern slavery, build bridges of trust and facilitate their rescue from exploitation. We also submit intelligence to law enforcement, which informs of the bigger picture and can result in the rescue of more victims, as well as action being taken against perpetrators.
We regularly provide specialist support on proactive operations aimed at rescuing victims of modern slavery. We support victims in making criminal complaints, should they choose to do so.

Restore: Our specialist multi-disciplinary Advocacy team works to identify holistic, victim-centred individual legal and support needs. We provide specialist advocacy with agencies to assist former victims to access housing, welfare benefits, employment opportunities, mental health support and legal advice after the 45-day recovery and reflection period. The combination of legal and support advocacy is essential in providing victims with a voice, choices and a platform to rebuild their lives. Hope for Justice also supports victims through the criminal and civil justice processes to ensure they receive justice and restitution, which plays a key role in restoration. In Cambodia, we run a network of world-class aftercare facilities comprising an assessment centre, safe accommodation, a school and outreach programmes.

Reform: Our training and resources are delivered to the professionals most likely to come into contact with victims of modern slavery, often without even realising it. Participants learn how to identify victims and to understand the circumstances that stop people coming forward for help. Our training results in referrals of potential victims and more victims being identified and rescued. We also work with companies to provide advice, training and specialist services to protect their operations and supply chains from modern slavery and infiltration by traffickers. Tackling the issue at source is key to prevent exploitation.

Our frontline work also provides the evidence base to inform our campaigning work to ensure that law, policy and practice work to protect victims and combat the problem. We regularly work closely with legislators to make the case for positive change. In the UK, we facilitate the West Yorkshire Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery Network on behalf of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, and since February 2016, we have also been responsible for coordinating the National Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery Network. This brings together Police and Crime Commissioners from across England and Wales, the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, and representatives from the National Police Chiefs Council and the Home Office Modern Slavery Unit to improve collaboration and the nationwide response to modern slavery in all its forms.

Q: What do you mean by the term ‘rescue’?

We use the word ‘rescue’ when the intervention of our specialist staff directly removes a victim of human trafficking from a situation of exploitation or profound vulnerability to exploitation.

Rescues range from month-long observation operations that develop into contact with a victims and their safe removal from their situation of exploitation to attending a homeless shelter to meet a victim referred by staff who have been trained by Hope for Justice, then arranging that individual’s entry into safe-house accommodation.

No matter how we get to the point of meeting that victim, we celebrate their rescue once it’s happened. Our expert intervention means a life changed and another step taken toward ending slavery for good. Find out more about the work of Hope for Justice on our What We Do page.

Q: Where does Hope for Justice operate?

Hope for Justice operates in Cambodia, Norway, the US and the UK. Our headquarters is in Manchester, UK. Find out about our programs in each of the countries where we operate by selecting one of the following; CambodiaUSUK – Norway

Q: Does Hope for Justice work with the government and police?

Hope for Justice has worked closely with law enforcement on investigations and prosecutions in the UK and has been invited to play a part in victim reception during large raids. We are a vital ‘alternative pathway’ for victims too scared to engage directly with law enforcement, at least at first. Many victims come from countries with disreputable policing or have been instilled with a fear of the authorities by their trafficker. This means that even where frontline police officers are fully versed in trafficking law, there is still a need for Hope for Justice to act as a trusted intermediary. We also provide training on the indicators of trafficking, recording trafficking offences and other country-specific advice and training. Find out more about What We Do.

Q: Why does the fight against human trafficking require an NGO?

The kind of fear and manipulation experienced by many victims means they would never consider reporting their situation to the law enforcement. This creates a desperate need for a trusted third party to identify victims, raise public awareness, provide excellent aftercare and train frontline professionals who can build bridges between the victim and the police. Hope for Justice works closely with victims to make sure they enter safe accommodation and get the support they require. After some time in a safe environment, victims are often able to overcome the fear they’ve been instilled with. At this point the victim may feel comfortable telling their story to the police but it is always the victim’s choice whether to cooperate with the police. Find out more about What We Do.

Q: What results has Hope for Justice’s strategy produced so far?

Hope for Justice is committed to rescuing and restoring every victim of modern day slavery and we’re building an organisation to make that possible. Hear about our recent successes on our News page or read our most recent Year in Review for 2016-17. We can’t always share about our successes because of ongoing police investigations and because of our commitment to protect and respect the privacy of the victims we have helped. However, we believe in transparency and integrity and if we can say something we will.

Q: Why focus on modern slavery and human trafficking out of the injustices in the world?

There are many injustices happening in our world. To really combat any problem you have to set out with a clear idea of what you want to achieve and focus strategically on that. Hope for Justice exists to bring an end to modern slavery by rescuing victims, restoring lives, and reforming society. “Why modern slavery?” is a question each Hope for Justice Team member and each supporter in our abolitionist community will answer differently.

Recognising how difficult it is for many victims to approach the police even though their need is desperate creates a need for an organisation like Hope for Justice. After hearing the stories of those who have been rescued or hearing the statistics of how many sons and daughters, wives and husbands haven’t been rescued yet, you can’t help but feel compelled to act. Find out why we do what we do.

Q: Is it a good idea to use the term ‘victim’?

Due to the manipulation, deceit, coercion and grooming employed by traffickers, many people removed from exploitation do not realise they have been a victim. Understanding that what has happened to them is wrong and that the trafficker is to blame can be an important part of their recovery. Getting the general public and organisations to understand that a crime has been committed and that the crime has a human cost also justifies the use of a commonly understood term such as ‘victim’. This is why Hope for Justice use the term ‘victim’, although staff remain aware of the sensitivities of such a label and will use the terms ‘survivor’ or ‘client’ when interacting with victims. Read the stories of survivors.

Q: Is Hope for Justice a Christian organization?

Hope for Justice is a Christian organisation. Many, but by no means all, of our staff come from a church background. All staff are expected to work in a way that reflects core values of respect, tolerance, passion for justice and appreciation of the value of individuals. The organisation strives for high standards of professionalism, openness and integrity but the service we deliver is not evangelistic. Meet Our Team.

Our Directors hope that our work, and the good that comes of it, speaks of the love of God. We are acutely aware of the vulnerability of the victims we work with and we treat them with the highest level of cultural sensitivity. We serve victims who have originated from all across the globe and from a diverse mix of cultures. We do utilise the programmes of some faith-based organisations that provide aftercare for victims of trafficking but we would only make a referral if the victim was comfortable with the content of the programme and was able to make an informed choice.

Q: How is Hope for Justice funded and regulated?

Hope for Justice is primarily funded by private individuals, a small number of trusts and partnerships with churches. Church Partners commit to giving a set, regular donation in a similar way to individuals who donate. Some revenue is also generated from our training and ‘Slavery in Supply Chains’ work. Take a look at our financials under ‘About Us’ on the top menu.

In the UK, Hope for Justice is proud to be registered with the Fundraising Regulator, meaning we agree to ensure all of our fundraising is legal, open, honest and respectful. The standards for fundraising are set out in the Code of Fundraising Practice. We also abide by the Fundraising Promise.

In the US, Hope for Justice has earned the Excellence in Giving Transparency Certificate after an independent analysis of 175 data points across strategy, leadership, financial, and impact data. This certification gives donors the opportunity to find our organisation, recognise our commitment to transparency, and determine if we are the right fit for their giving priorities.

Q: Will the money I donate be spent in my country?

Hope for Justice currently works in four countries and your donations are directed toward whichever of our life-changing programmes is most in need. We work hard to make sure that each programme works to the highest standards and results in the greatest number of people being rescued and restored. You can be sure that every penny you donate works hard to bring freedom, justice and restoration to victims of human trafficking. Find out more about the lives changed by our supporters donations – read survivors’ stories.

Q: What is Natalie Grant’s role in Hope for Justice?

Natalie Grant founded Abolition International, one of the three organisations that became Hope for Justice in 2014. Natalie is a co-founder of Hope for Justice and an ambassador for the abolitionist cause. As a Grammy-nominated recording artist, Natalie uses her platform to raise awareness of the plight of trafficking victims in the US and around the world and sits on the Board of Hope for Justice. Meet the rest of Our Team.

Q: I’m a former supporter of Abolition International or Transitions Global, why did they become one organisation with Hope for Justice?

Abolition International, Hope for Justice and Transitions Global joined together in September 2014 to become one organisation in the fight against human trafficking. By combining our individual strengths we now have an international organisation, under the name Hope for Justice, with a shared passion to change lives and end slavery. Together we’re even stronger. Each of the founding organisations has an extraordinary, professional heritage to build upon.

Founded by Natalie Grant, Abolition International helped launch, expand and improve aftercare programs in India, Moldova, Cambodia and the United States, creating model programmes, standards of care, resources for shelters and education programs for medical practitioners.

Hope for Justice (UK) was co-founded by Ben Cooley, and worked to uncover and abolish the hidden crime of modern-day slavery. Its specialist operations team identified victims and removed them from exploitation, pursued perpetrator accountability and supported survivors.

James and Athena Pond established Transitions Global to provide world-class restorative care and education for girls aged 13-18 rescued from sex trafficking in Cambodia. They ran aftercare homes, a tailored education project and a family and community integration programme.

We’re proud of what each organization has already achieved but so much more excited about what we’re going to accomplish next – the freedom we will win, the justice we will see done and the restoration we will bring. Together, and with your support, we’re going to change even more lives. Watch our new vision film and check out our programs.

Q: Will the new expanded Hope for Justice still be a local solution to modern slavery?

We’ve always seen Hope for Justice as a community intent on ending modern day slavery. Each of the three founding organisations started by providing practical help to people trapped in modern slavery on their own doorsteps: in the US, the UK and Cambodia. Now we’ve added Norway too. Together we’re keeping our local focus, we’re just creating a way for more people to join the abolitionist movement and add their doorstep! Together we’ll be rescuing and restoring many more people. Read the stories of the individual lives we’ve changed – survivor stories.