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 labor 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 labor. The labor 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. In a 2005 report the International Labour Organization estimated that $31.6bn is made from the forced labor of trafficking victims, with $15bn of that money being generated within industrialised nations like our own – that’s pretty much half. With the public paying more for services in ‘developed’ nations there is more profit to be made from forced labor 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 recognize 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.

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 by calling:

Emailing programmes@hopeforjustice.org  or  telephoning  0845 519 7402

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, whilst 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 four part strategy; we identify and rescue victims, train frontline  professionals to identify and refer cases of slavery, advocate on behalf of victims and provide restorative care to rebuild individual futures. Hope for Justice is operational in Cambodia, Norway, the US and the UK but doesn’t currently operate all 4 program areas in all countries. Find out more about What We Do here.

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 surveillance 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’ve been trained by Hope for Justice arranging that individuals entry into safehouse 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. Our aim is to encourage and equip police forces and provide a bridge between victims and the police. 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 the National Referral Mechanism to law enforcement in the UK. 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 Annual Report. We can’t always share about our successes because of on-going police investigations and because of our commitment to protect and respect the confidentiality 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 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 see the end of human trafficking. “Why human trafficking?” is a question each Hope for Justice Team member and each supporter in our abolitionist community will answer differently.

Recognizing how difficult it is for many victims to approach the police even though their need is desperate creates a need for an organization like Hope for Justice. After hearing the stories of those who have been rescued or hearing the statistics of how many sons and daughter, 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 realize 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 organizations 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 organization. Many, but by no means all, of our staff come from a church background and 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 organization 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 utilize the programs of some faith-based organizations that provide aftercare for victims of trafficking but we would only make a referral if the victim was comfortable with the content of the program 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. Take a look at our financials under ‘About Us’ on the top menu.

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

Hope for Justice currently works in three countries around the world and your donations are directed toward whichever of our life-changing programs is most in need. We work hard to make sure that each program 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 survivor’s stories.

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

Natalie founded Abolition International, one of the three organizations that became Hope for Justice in 2014. Find out how we got started here. Natalie is a Co-Founder of Hope for Justice and an ambassador for the abolitionist cause. As a Grammy-nominated 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 organization with Hope for Justice?

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

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

Hope for Justice (UK) was co-founded by Ben Cooley, and has worked to uncover and abolish the hidden crime of modern-day slavery. Their specialist operations team identifies victims and removes them from exploitation, pursues perpetrator accountability and supports 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 run aftercare homes, a tailored education project and a family and community integration program.

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 organizations started by providing practical help to modern slaves 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.