Hope For Justice – struggling against human trafficking

by Milena Rampoldi and Denise Nanni,
ProMosaik. In the following our interview with Adam of the organization Hope For Justice struggling against human
trafficking in the UK and Cambodia by raising awareness, and by supporting
victims. Would like to thank Adam for his answers and the pictures he sent us.
What is the current situation related to
human trafficking?
Human trafficking is a barbaric crime, a form of
modern slavery.
Say ‘slavery’ and most people still think of it as
something from the past – an evil institution but one that has been safely
abolished and consigned to history. But there are actually more people trapped
in slavery today than at any point in human history. 
There are no exact numbers, because this is a hidden
crime, but the best estimates suggest there are 21 million people living in
modern slavery around the world, and about 13,000 people in the UK. 
The most common types of modern slavery are forced
labour, sexual exploitation and domestic servitude, but other forms also exist,
from forced cannabis cultivation to organ harvesting. Men, women and children
sold and traded, stripped of dignity and privacy and hope.
Victims are tricked or forced into these situations
and kept there through violence, fraud or coercion, and often end up living and
working in abominable conditions. Some people are beaten and abused; others
have threats made against their families back in their home countries. Many are
forced into fraudulent ‘debt bondage’, with their wages kept by a trafficker to
pay non-existent bills for their travel, accommodation or food. Others have
their passports kept from them, or are told they will be deported if they go to
the authorities. 
The shocking thing is that there are almost certainly
trafficking victims in your community. They work in factories and at car
washes, as gardeners, waiters, leaflet deliverers… Others are forced to work
in construction, waste management, manufacturing or in nail bars. Young women
are forced into prostitution, moved from house to house and town to town.
Domestic slaves are being kept in outwardly respectable homes, forced to cook
and clean or look after children, for little or no money. 
That’s why Hope for Justice exists. We want to live in
a world free from slavery. 
What are the most common misbeliefs about
human trafficking?
Myth: It is a crime that only involves
Fact: Citizens of all countries are affected by this
Myth: It requires foreign or interstate travel, or
crossing borders. 
Fact: Human trafficking does not require any type of
travel; a person can be trafficked on the same street where they have lived for
their entire life. 
Myth: It is only related to the sex industry. 
Fact: Forced labour is just as big a problem.
Myth: If they get paid, they aren’t victims.
Fact: Victimisation came come through force, fraud,
coercion, or any pattern or scheme intended to instil fear in someone. A person
can seem to have means of escape, yet still remain as an unwilling participant
because they are being coerced by their controller(s).
Myth: Prosecutions aren’t needed. 
Fact: Despite the desire of many NGOs to not have
their victims have to participate with law enforcement, this issue will not go
away without effective prosecutions. We must make it expensive for the
traffickers, otherwise there will be no incentive to stop. Of course we still
need effective prevention and protection activities, too. But we cannot forego
strong prosecutions.
Myth: Victims self-identify. 
Fact: It is exceedingly rare for a victim to contact
someone for help while being trafficked, even when given specific opportunities
to do so. Fear, shame, dependence upon their trafficker and other types are
coercion, or a lack of understanding of their condition all contribute to this
What are your activities related to human
trafficking prevention? What services do you offer to human trafficking
Hope for Justice exists to bring an end to modern
slavery by rescuing victims, restoring lives and reforming society.
Our specialist investigators work closely with law
enforcement and other agencies to identify victims of trafficking, build
bridges of trust with them and rescue them from situations of
We often act on intelligence received from those we’ve
trained to recognize the indicators of trafficking – including NGOs, community
groups and frontline public service professionals.
Around the world, we work with victims to overcome
trauma and rebuild their lives. We offer tailored restorative care initiatives
and help partners to develop accredited systems, and offer support to meet
survivors’ vital needs. 
In the UK, for example, we help survivors of
trafficking with everything from housing and welfare to employability skills
and community engagement, advocating on their behalf to central and local
agencies and authorities. In Cambodia, we run aftercare facilities ourselves,
offering survivors of sex trafficking a safe place to live, learn and overcome
their experiences with specialist therapy, education and support. 
We provide advocacy and support to victims through the
criminal justice process and seek to hold perpetrators financially accountable
through civil actions against traffickers on behalf of victims. Our
investigative work in support of prosecutions is what makes us largely unique
in this field.
We train frontline professionals to spot the signs of
trafficking and act on it, and seek policy change by influencing governments
and media. Just last week, we were invited to the White House to brief the
President in person, for example, and we also work with senior political
leaders across Europe.
We are always overjoyed to rescue someone from modern
slavery, but preventing it from happening in the first place is even more
important. That’s why we also work with businesses to cut slavery out of their
supply chains.
Did you develop, throughout time, a
strategy that can be indicated as really affective into addressing the social
inclusion of human trafficking’s victims?
Yes, in both the UK and Cambodia we have a strong
record of restoring hope and opportunity for victims, reducing their
vulnerability to re-trafficking, and providing them with relevant therapy,
support, education and skills. Where appropriate, we help them into jobs with
employability skills, career advice, language lessons, etc.
Do you cooperate with local authorities
and institutions? If yes, how?
Yes, we work closely with police forces, social
services, local and national government, and other NGOs. In the UK our
relationships are especially strong – we work with police to rescue victims and
ensure traffickers are convicted, with social services to get housing and
welfare benefits for former victims, and with local authorities to raise
awareness of modern slavery and train their staff to spot the signs and act on
We also rely on volunteers, many of whom meet together
as part of ‘Abolition Groups’ to fundraise, campaign and take action. We’d
welcome anyone reading this who’d like to join our movement, just visit and
click ‘Take Action’.