World Day Against Trafficking in Persons - Finding ways to support victims
Thursday 30 July is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Professor Rachel Julian, from Leeds School Of Social Sciences, is currently carrying out research in this area funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Together with Haart Kenya, Professor Julian is working to counter human trafficking using narratives to understand more about the ways victims can be supported.
Awareness Against Human Trafficking (HAART)
Awareness Against Human Trafficking (HAART) was formed in 2010 with a vision to see a world free from trafficking in persons. HAART uses the UN Four P’s Strategy of prevention, protection, prosecution and policy and partnership. Since its inception, HAART has reached more than 60,000 people through its outreach activities, providing direct assistance to 587 survivors of trafficking.
Every year on 30 July, the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is commemorated all over the world. This day is crucial in the counter trafficking work to not only bring attention to the issue of human trafficking as a crime but to also highlight its life changing impact on the victims' dignity and lives . This day is also pivotal in acknowledging and celebrating the work done stakeholders to curb the vice.
HAART has always used this day to carry out different campaigns around the counter trafficking work and this year is no different.
Covid -19 challenges
The Covid -19 period has presented many challenges not only to our work as an organisation but also to the people we work with who the Victims and Survivors of Trafficking in Kenya. Kenya was on a partial lock down for the last three months and schools are closed until January 2021. While the lockdown has been lifted now, we still have a long way to go before the economy recovers. Further the government has put in place conditions for reopening for small businesses which have cost implications.
For victims within our programme, this period had been exceptionally challenging. This is because a majority of the victims lost their jobs and income as a result of the negative impact Covid -19 has had on businesses and the economy at large. Most of the victims within the HAART programme were working in small organisations or running small business. These include both victims had completed our healing and integration programme and those who were still actively healing. In many of the households the survivors are the providers and therefore they have the burden of care for their families.
These shifts present a different paradigm for the victims. Not only have the victims lost their livelihoods, they also vulnerable to domestic violence, trafficking and other forms of exploitation and abuse. There is a risk of re-trafficking both during and after the Covid-19 pandemic as families are desperately looking for income making fend for their families and restart their businesses. It is within this background that HAART has been running the Let’s Have A Future Campaign to raise funds to support victims of trafficking. This campaign will culminate to a virtual concert on the 30th July, 2020 at 8pm EAT. This is with the support of Leeds Beckett University, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Freedom fund and Harmony Institute.
We would like you to be part of this; here is how you can join us
- To support us, join our campaign to support survivors of human trafficking at haartkenya.org
- Join the concert on 30th July at 8 pm on https://m.facebook.com/haartkenya/
- Host a watch party on your Facebook page or account.
- Share with your friends, family and networks!
- Stay Home, Stay Safe! See you on Thursday!
Dr Rachel Julian is a researcher and expert on peace, the power of community action and Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping. In addition to researching the significance of local voices in social change, she works with Nonviolent Peaceforce in Myanmar on understanding the lives and work of civilian ceasefire monitors.