To mark United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on Sunday (July 30), The Salvation Army is highlighting the start of its latest innovative work in Nigeria and the Philippines. The two projects, funded by the Modern Slavery Innovation Fund (administered by the Home Office), are jointly known as the Community Awareness and Recovery (CAR) project. They are aimed at preventing modern slavery and trafficking of people from these two countries, which are known to be places targeted by traffickers looking to entice unsuspecting victims. The scheme is particularly innovative due to its inclusion of the concept of families hosting victims of modern slavery to live with them during their recovery.
The Salvation Army is also recruiting and training Anti-Human Trafficking volunteers as “champions” who will be a point of contact in their communities, to raise awareness of trafficking, and help identify survivors who can then be referred into the programme to receive support. The projects are also currently recruiting suitable families willing to host victims of modern slavery as they receive support to recover from their ordeal. This support, tailored to each person’s needs, could comprise skills training, livelihood support and links to community support systems to help them become more self-sufficient and therefore less vulnerable to re-trafficking. It is hoped a programme of support which includes host families in Nigeria and the Philippines - will help to successfully embed these support programmes in the community and deliver a lasting impact and contribute towards the restoration of kinship care and community support which were historical community values. Research and lessons learnt from these projects into the causes and assessment of the best ways of preventing trafficking in these countries will be used to inform other Salvation Army work and shared with partner organisations.
The aim of this being to enhance understanding of modern slavery in communities and how to respond to help prevent the crime.
Training programmes to raise awareness and change attitudes will be run through established Salvation Army church and community centres in both countries, cascading through local communities, and enhanced through collaboration with existing networks at both local and national levels.
The Home Office funding will allow the project to run for up to 24 months and enables The Salvation Army to build on existing work, funded from its own charitable donations, which promotes understanding and awareness in countries from which large numbers of people are trafficked into the UK and other countries.
Anne Read, The Salvation Army’s Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery Director, said:
“These projects in the Philippines and Nigeria are a fantastic opportunity to stamp out the problem at its source.
The Salvation Army is already privileged to be able to provide specialist support to victims of modern slavery who have been referred to us after escaping slave-like conditions in the UK. This funding will help us extend our international commitment to protecting people from being trafficked and enslaved in the first place.
“We will build on our wide experience of managing these kinds of projects, which includes similar work made possible through charitable funds from the UK in countries such as Nepal, Malawi and Poland. As an international organisation we are committed to responding to this issue, and our ability to run such projects is only limited by the resources available to us. As such we are absolutely delighted to receive this funding so we can work with communities in Nigeria and the Philippines to try to effect lasting changes in attitudes, awareness, and opportunities which should protect those people most at risk of falling victim to the money-making ploys of the traffickers.”
For more than five years The Salvation Army has offered specialist support to victims of modern slavery in England and Wales under a Government contract (known as the Victim Care & Coordination Contract). This support includes accommodation in safe houses or outreach support.
Between July 2015 and July 2016 The Salvation Army supported more than 4,300 potential victims of modern slavery in England and Wales.*
In the year from June 2015 to July 2016 Nigeria was the 2nd highest nationality to be referred to The Salvation Army under the Victim Care & Coordination Contract while Filipinos were the 15th highest nationality to be referred.
Internationally, The Salvation Army has made a global commitment to fighting modern slavery and human trafficking; an International Anti-Human Trafficking (AHT) Taskforce has been established, underpinned by an international strategy, to coordinate The Salvation Army’s global response to this crime. Across the world The Salvation Army runs more than 30 projects aimed at raising awareness of trafficking and slavery, and supporting survivors in source countries targeted by traffickers, with The Salvation Army UKI supporting nine of those projects in addition to these two Home Office funded projects in Nigeria and the Philippines.
If you or someone you know believes they are a victim of trafficking or slavery and is in need of support please contact The Salvation Army’s confidential 24/7 referral line – 0300 303 8151.