Faith based communities – agents for improved civil society response?

 

It is often argued that religion should steer well clear of politics and the economy – yet when it comes to Human Trafficking communities of faith have been deeply immersed in developing practical steps to respond to the cataclysm this represents to Human lives.  These immediate steps of response – the steps which Christian communities and those influenced consciously or more subliminally by the  narratives of Jesus, exemplified by the parable of the Good Samaritan, are the steps informed by human empathy motivating those so touched, into practical action.

Margaret Thatcher famously said that

“No-one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well.”

 

The account explores how we hierarchalise our ‘moral’ responsibility to one another , and how religion itself can undermine, through failures in prioritisation, activities which are hostile to human connectedness and flourishing.

aidan mcquadeThere is the role of moral courage, (which the CCARHT Symposium 2018 on the 5 Ts of Trafficking featured in the contribution of Aidan McQuade on its day three exploring Terror),  the power of  persuasion alongside the deployment of practical social protection systems or networks which can afford hospitality, support and space for people suffering distress (howsoever caused), and the prospect of healing and full recovery.

delacroix_samaritaan1849All this is present in the parable of the Good Samaritan  – which engages the cataclysmic “empathy and ‘true religion’ fail” of the religious leaders who walked by, one even physically moving himself to the ‘other side of the road’ in order not to be rendered ritually ‘unclean’ due to contact with what he presumed (as he did not further investigate) was a rotting body.

So far, so religious. Yet this consideration of how communities, which gather around religious precepts most of which are effectively multi-national organisations operating sometimes in alignment with (particularly when elite denominations) or in contravention to their ‘host’ states, penetrate the nano realities of State, deep into household behaviours and ‘voter consciousness’ with their  long legacy played out in our global and local political stage is vitally significant.  The global political stage and the world of academic International Relations discourse was forced into acknowledging the reality of ‘the power of religion’ in the aftermath of the advent of Al Quaeda, Daesh, and Boko Haram as community mobilisers in the Middle East, North and West Africa, with all their dispersed ramifications in the consequent securitisation of Northern Economies to the ‘political radicalisation’ of  a ‘fake’ Islamic memory.

Meantime  the ‘golden thread of empathy’ which courses through the DNA of the best moments of organised and anarchic religious traditions, and surfaces in late modernity through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – raises our  human primate consciousness to the reality of our common humanity, generating a cultural mandate of  shared rights to inform respect filled response to one another regardless of race, religion, political affiliation, gender, abilities, sexuality.

This human capacity to empathise breaks through again and again to inform our political stance and inter-subjective responses. It is what calls out in the drowned body of Alan Kurdi, the suffering of those stranded on the islands of Lesbos, Chios and Samos, the pregnant Nigerians who lost their lives in the Mediterranean and are emblematic of the thousands who continue to risk their lives in the perilous crossings from North Africa to Spain, Italy and the Greek Islands.  Yet this human capacity to empathise, reach beyond tribe, family, blood-line or articulated identity group, can be enhanced or sublimated for political or fake religious ends, and needs to be nurtured and validated as authentically human to develop.

church times articleA recent article in the Anglican Church’s principal UK organ, the  Church Times, cited the significant contribution over the last decade of various faith community initiatives, in developing the capacity of the UK government to respond to the safeguarding and recovery requirements of those who have been trafficked within and into the UK.  The role of faith communities is cited as one which continues to raise the moral bar for politicians, law and the dispersal of state tax revenue, in recognition of the intrinsic humanity of the ‘other’ rather than exacerbating ‘difference’ and otherness.

The work of various Christian denominations and ‘pioneers’ who have displayed ‘moral courage’ in their time is noted. The  work of synagogues, mosques, gurdwaras and temples will doubtless be carried in other ‘in house’ faith press, manifesting the positive potential of religious heightening of empathy which at its best reaches beyond religious, gender, ethnic, political, or national grouping.  Humanity calls out to humanity. Yet at the same moment  Human Trafficking displays a stubborn refusal in accessing the full import of societal empathy.  It can only manifest with the collusion of  societies, families, public servants, mafia style criminal networks, businesses, religious leaders, consumers and vendors,  individuals one and all, to the exploitation of another.  The individual is reduced to a commodity: stripped of the gifted ‘rights bearing’ human being, who looks back in the mirror towards our society.

We are caught in a global and highly complex web of inequality and desperation. With numbers ranging from various lobby groups from 23 million to 41 million trapped in some form of forced labour, trafficking and modern slavery conditions – the challenge embroils directly in the worst readings 0.6% of the global population, (estimated at just over 7.6 billion people), or the equivalent of a quarter of the population of Russia, or half the population of Turkey, were they to be consolidated into one geo-political  segment.

It is a significant number by any reading and will take multiple steps of moral courage, political will, economic re-balancing, and clarity of purpose to realise liberative change and socio-economic transformation. The recognition that heightening empathy between state and civic actors, in order to commit fully to the work of dismantling human trafficking and modern slavery,  is something which is worth attending to.

In the midst of fresh protocols, action plans, national threat assessments, enforcement transformation agendas, and counting the cost to business and Gross National Products,  it is still essential for us to recognise that exploitation of one person, no matter what their origin, age, sexuality, gender, religion or race, is an attack on us all. No-one is an island complete unto him/herself. We are all empathy imageconnected, and this is one of the special virtues which faith communities in their best manifestations can bring to the table.  This confession of the oneness of humanity, not simply through the biological interconnectedness of our DNA, but through the teachings of the major world religions from Jainism, through to Judaism and Confucianism – is articulated through the golden rule in either positive or negative configuration which has been noted since the sixteenth century as a point of potential unity in intention across global religions:

Confucius stating in the negative form: Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you. Analects 15:23
Jesus Christ commending in a more positive voice: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Matthew 7:12
Sikhism’s Guru Arjan Devji instructing:  Don’t create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone. Guru Granth Sahib 259
Hinduism in the Mahabharata : This is the sum of duty: do nothing to others which would cause you pain, if done to you.  Mahabharata 5:1517
Islam declaring that: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. Sunnah  Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 13
And finally for the purposes of this illustration
Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow. That is the law: all the rest is commentary.  Shabbat 31a the Talmud. *

George Bernard Shaw brought a sardonic note to the table in his Maxims for Revolutionaries in Man and Superman (1903) by stating  ‘Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same ‘ to sound a healthy cultural contextual note of caution, in the mix of homogeneous policies and provisions which frequently privileges those in power.  But the drive of the major religious Golden Rule nevertheless holds up well as an ethical source of energy, focus and drive.

migration and trafficking SDGsFast forward to our contemporary international focus for action to ensure a sustainable planet, in which the cause of social justice and deeper equality across nations, gender, ethnicities, caste, class and race is  taken forward into the 17 Sustainable Development Goals articulated by the UN for delivery in 2030.

We need to expand our policy lens, to incorporate the widest angles to inform our thinking around the  vulnerability of whole segments of populations, not the isolated, accidental, haphazard hyper zoomed in individual accounts of much of on line narratives.  The SDGs begin to outline a wider narrative of political uncertainty of, of gender inequality, of the lack of decent work and economic prosperity, of the dislocation of war, and the failure of peace processes to provide the level of reintegration and stabilised communities, of ecological ‘shocks’ and the failure to protect people’s essential rights, of dysfunctional migratory processes which fail to protect migrants rights, or citizenship when on the move. Furthermore trafficking continues to thrive in an environment of relative impunity for those who vend and those who purchase.

The persistence of global trafficking represents a comprehensive failure of political will, at multiple levels.  Up to 0.6% of humanity, are currently estimated to be living in significantly de-graded situations which are variously tagged as Forced labour, Human Trafficking or Modern Slavery. Their entitlement gifted either by the ‘golden rules’ of the major world religions noted above, or the semi derivative UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, actively rendered null and void by the actions of  facilitators, traders and purchasers.   Autonomous, vital, creative, flourishing global neighbours reduced into ‘commodities’ to be bought, sold, exploited and jettisoned into so many ditches of our contemporary world, left for dead.  It is of course a global malaise which involves us all.

According to the International Labour Organisation there were (at any given time in 2016 – and the figures are showing no signs in being reduced)

  • an estimated 40.3 million people  in modern slavery, including 24.9 million in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriage.
  • There are an estimated  5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1,000 people in the world.
  • Of those 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children.
  • Out of the 24.9 million people trapped in forced labour, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector such as domestic work, construction or agriculture; 4.8 million persons in forced sexual exploitation, and 4 million persons in forced labour imposed by state authorities.

The quotodian economic and political choices which  governments take in democracies or a dictators’ name, businesses choices responding to the god of consumer ‘demand’,  the invisible hand of the market, or the idolatry of responding dynamically to the advantage of less regulated labour markets, flaccid enforcement procedures offering immense trafficking opportunities to vendors and ‘trolleys’ due to public sector corruption, failure to prioritise ‘crime types’ so that trafficking is not specifically targeted or recognised for what it is, inadequate resources deployed into national and international systems to respond, all these systemic realities, and billions of interactions are affecting the world we are being served today.  The challenge is what is our underlying score? What is the heart beat, and what is the message?

The role of faith communities which are prepared to step up to the breach in the wall of humanity, which those who work in counter trafficking, and the millions caught in its exploitative practices experience viscerally in Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery today, is to apply the golden thread which links all of their worlds, and assist our common political quest to build a more just world together here and now. A world where all forms of Human Trafficking have been made redundant, because we choose to do unto others, as we would be done to.  A world where the Good Samaritan could continue on his journey to Jerusalem, as there was no-one lying unheeded in the ditch.  And what comes first, the Shekel or the intention to be curious, pay attention, and extend empathy?  How we answer that clearly affects our priorities for Nudge, tipping points, strategic interventions and future joint action.

The scene is thus set for one of our strands for next year’s CCARHT symposium which will be focusing for two of its precious 5 days the different contributions, negative and positive, at global and local levels in counter trafficking work. For the last three years we have been working with the overarching tag of #2020 vision as we incorporate attention to the SDGs and to building a holistic, and informed response to contemporary Human Trafficking challenges.   Do be in contact if this is an area which you would like to be involved.  Follow our Symposium pages to be up to date with our latest outcomes papers and our dates for 2019.

 

 

 

W.A. Spooner, "The Golden Rule," in James Hastings, ed. Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. 6 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1914) pp. 310–12, quoted in Rushworth M. Kidder, How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living, Harper, New York, 2003. ISBN 0-688-17590-2. p. 159. Simon Blackburn  noting the connection between Confucious and the Golden Rule. Simon, Blackburn (2001). Ethics: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-19-280442-6.

The costs of Human Trafficking – health, enforcement and lost years of employment

Costs of Human Trafficking and the impacts on national exchequers alongside Individual's lives
Costs of Human Trafficking and the impacts on national exchequers alongside Individual’s lives

Freshly pressed from the Home Office utilising the  methodology used in ‘The Economic and Social Costs of Crime’ (Heeks et al., 2018) adapting  where necessary to reflect some of the particular characteristics of this offence type. The report6 utilises the QALY (Quality Adjusted Life Year) methodology which estimates the costs of the physical and emotional harms, and also is used in the estimates of lost time and output, as well as costs experienced across the deployment of health services, responding to all aspects of health challenges which are experienced by those who are trafficked, across the spectrum of mental, physical, gynaecological and reproductive health.

Getting a working handle on the economics of Trafficking, the costs incurred both by affected individuals, the loss of revenue in their country or region of source, the costs borne by intervention in countries of exploitation where there is a social protection framework which picks up the tab in physical and psychological health recovery, is vitally important as policies for intervention and attempted eradication are brought to the policy table.  Unfortunately it was not possible in this report to analyse the costs directly borne across the criminal justice system in the UK, a matter which some improved data collection and co-ordinated reporting may address in time for the next report.

This is a significant step forward in helping to understand the ‘economics’ of trafficking from the perspective of  countries of ‘deployment’ with the impacts on the UK’s ability to respond according to the provisions of the Council of Europe’s action against trafficking in Human Beings  and the updated EU Framework on trafficking,  being spelt out in the wider economic impacts of appropriate responses on the State budget.   The economic health of Nation States being used as the market for trafficked lives,  as well as the immediate and very direct impacts on the individuals trafficked is important to see measured, in order to focus efforts for transformation.

There are further economic losses to be adjusted for (the loss of taxes due to this crime type normally streaming its revenue through money laundering processes, and the loss of cohorts of labour from developing a more mature, regulated and vital business / trade dimension in centres of source as well as deployment).  But this report  is an excellent start for those who need to cut into their Local Government, Business and National Governments to convince around the economic costs of leaving Human Trafficking to fester and grow in the fields, pop up brothels, processing industries, construction sites, nail bars, domestic service and car washes all around them.

Home office reportRead the report here

The ‘rights’ and trafficked exploitations of sexual labour – new call for papers.

A fresh perspective is being called for by the Anti Trafficking Review, convened by Dr Annalee Lepp – the chair of the Women’s Studies department at the University of Victoria and  co-founder and current director of the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women Canada. Dr Lepp deploys a human rights centric, “do no harm” approach to research and advocacy.  This is an opportunity for members of the CCARHT academic community to add their voice to this current debate which should include in our view engagement with Julie Bindel’s comprehensive tour of many of the hot spots of Global commercialised sex in ‘the Pimping of Prostitution’, alongside cognisance of the recent articles and moves cited in the call of the Lancet publication in 2014 positing the relationship between ‘decriminalisation of prostitution’ and a fall in the prevalence in communities working with this policy of HIV, and the 2015 – 2016 call by Amnesty International to ‘decriminalise sex work’.
Be good to hear from some of our community as to who is bringing some fresh perspectives in this most contested of arenas which represents part of the long shadow of Human Trafficking abuse and financial ‘opportunities’ for organised and various degrees of dis ‘organised’ crime today.
 Blog-style pieces of 1000-1200 words, which are relevant to the issue theme are being encouraged.
Anti-Trafficking Review
 
CALL FOR PAPERS
 
Sex Work
 
Guest Editor: Annalee Lepp
————————————————————————————————-
 
Deadline for Submissions: 8 July 2018
The Anti-Trafficking Review calls for papers for a themed issue entitled ‘Sex Work’.
The relationship between sex work and human trafficking remains one of the most contentious issues in both the sex worker rights and anti-trafficking worlds, and there is much community-based and academic literature written on this topic. While the arguments often appear at an impasse, there have been several important developments in recent years. In 2014, an issue of The Lancet showed that decriminalisation of sex work could drastically reduce the prevalence of HIV; in 2015/2016, Amnesty International urged states to decriminalise sex work as the only way to ensure the rights and wellbeing of sex workers; and, in 2018, the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women published a study that called for the recognition of sex worker organisations’ longstanding work in addressing working conditions, including violence and exploitation, in the sex industry. Yet, in the same period, several countries in the global North adopted the ‘Swedish model’ of criminalising clients of sex workers as an anti-trafficking measure, while the European Parliament adopted a resolution in support of the same. This disconnect between evidence and policy prompts us to revisit the issue of sex work through a new angle.
This thematic issue will seek to push the conversation about sex work and sex workers organising beyond the old debates of sex work being/not being trafficking or the best policy to ensure the rights and wellbeing of those involved in sex work. Starting from the standpoint of diverse sex worker communities (with full attention to Indigenous, racialised, transgender, male, and migrant sex workers working in a multiplicity of sectors) and sex worker organisations, the main focus will be to assess the current landscape with respect to the movement towards sex workers’ rights globally.
Contributors are invited to engage with, but need not limit themselves to, the following questions:
  • What is the role of sex worker organising in the advancement of sex workers’ rights? What factors facilitate organising among sex workers and what factors impede it?
  • Within current national and international contexts, have there been successes or successful alliances in the sex worker rights arena? What facilitates such alliances and what hinders them?
  • What is the role of sex worker organising in preventing and addressing exploitation in the sex industry, including human trafficking?
  • How is ‘exploitation’ being conceptualised by sex workers and sex worker organisations and is this conceptualisation consistent or incompatible with discussions of sexual exploitation in the anti-trafficking world? How is ‘exploitation’ being taken up by the labour rights movement and the decent work agenda?
  • What, if any, are the similarities between sex work and other informal labour sectors, such domestic work, in terms of individuals’ decisions to work in one or more of these sectors, working conditions, and other factors? What can one movement learn from the other in terms of strategies to claim rights and address violence and exploitation?
  • To what extent has the success of the ‘Swedish model’ relied on adopting or appropriating the language of rights as articulated by the global sex worker rights movement?
  • What effect, if any, is the rise of conservative and nationalistic politics and discourses having on sex workers rights and/or on anti-trafficking campaigns?
  • Where is the funding for sex workers rights? Who gives, how much and for what? How does it compare to funding for addressing trafficking in the sex sector?
  • What is the political appeal of the ‘Swedish model’? Why is it that more and more academics, human rights and health organisations are advocating for decriminalisation and more and more governments are adopting the ‘Swedish model’?
Deadline for submissions: 8 July 2018.
 
Word count for full article submissions: 4,000 – 6,000 words, including footnotes, author bio and abstract.
 
In addition to full-length conceptual, research-based, or case study focused thematic papers, we invite the submission of shorter, blog-style pieces of 1000-1200 words, which are relevant to the issue theme. We particularly welcome contributions from sex workers or organisations working with them, as well as from authors from or based in the global South. We also invite book reviews or book review essays (comparing 2-3 books).
 
Special Issue to be published in April 2019.
 
The Review promotes a human rights based approach to anti-trafficking, exploring anti-trafficking in a broader context, including gender analyses and intersections with labour and migrant rights. Academics, practitioners, trafficked persons and advocates are invited to submit articles. Contributions from those living and working in developing countries are particularly welcome. The journal is a freely available, open access publication with a readership in over 100 countries. The Anti-Trafficking Review is abstracted/indexed/tracked in: ProQuest, Ebsco Host, Ulrich’s, Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, Directory of Open Access Journals, WorldCat, Google Scholar, CrossRef, CNKI and ScienceOpen. 
We advise those interested in submitting to follow the Review‘s style guide and submission procedures, available at www.antitraffickingreview.org. Manuscripts should be submitted in line with the issue’s theme. Email the editorial team at atr@gaatw.orgwith any queries.
Thematic Issue Guest Editor: Annalee Lepp
 
Editor: Borislav Gerasimov

Resources for Supply Chain evening #2020vision

This Tuesday 20th March 2018 around 120 business, charity sector, monitoring bodies and faith leaders will be attending our symposium on Supply Chains and the work which is well underway to address the multiple challenges of inequalities, trafficking, exploitation, forced and child labour embedded within them.

We are pulling together a number of key resources for the evening – and will be placing them here for our physical and on-line audience to be reading as the event goes live. Please follow the #2020SCvision and let us know your thoughts @ccarht.

here are some of the resources which we shall be referring to ENDING EXPLOITATION IN WOMEN 

Child Base Lines  ETI 

Children in Mining – Gendered  2007_gender_girl_mining_ilo_ipec_en

Children in Mining

Children in Agriculture 

Root causes of poverty within the Agricultural sector – breaking the cycle

From the Factory with Love – Migrant workers who leave their children behind 

Migrant Parent workers in China  CSR

Children in Migration

Protecting Children on the Move through ICT and Social Media

Professor Simon Stockley - speaking to Supply Chain management and Values underpinning contemporary business.
Professor Simon Stockley – speaking to Supply Chain management and Values underpinning contemporary business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baroness Young of Hornsey - why transparency in the Supply Chains REALLY matters
Baroness Young of Hornsey – why transparency in the Supply Chains REALLY matters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revd Dr Carrie Pemberton Ford - issues which arise from the perspective of Human Trafficking - and addressing first principles. CCARHT
Revd Dr Carrie Pemberton Ford – issues which arise from the perspective of Human Trafficking – and addressing first principles. CCARHT

 

 

 

Supply Chains in focus – Just Share collaboration with CCARHT March 20th 2018

Supply Chains in focus –  Just Share collaboration with CCARHT March 20th 2018

Collaboration is what effective work in addressing Human Trafficking at every level is all about.  So here at CCARHT we are really delighted to be sharing with JUST SHARE, and the St Paul’s Institute to put on an evening of engagement with what is going on with Supply Chain transparency down in London later on in March.  Be wonderful to see some of our Blog readers who can access this evening event with us on this occasion.

Baroness Young of Hornsey, will bring her passion around fashion and responsibilities across the textile industry, along with her sustained political commitment to driving procurement accountability down through Public and Local authorities.

NGO heavy weights Aidan McQuade, (former CEO of Anti Slavery International) and Mike Dottridge (currently championing the Best Interests of the Child in the Global Compact for Child Refugees), will be speaking to the contribution of the Third Sector in driving through responsible and accountable Business practice in addressing Human Trafficking and modern slavery across their Supply Chains.

Professor Simon Stockley of the Judge Business School, will be looking at the power of ‘virtue signalling’ for  contemporary social media savvy organisations,  individual ‘public’ narratives and continuing the ‘North South divide’ of the Brandt report in new guise.  Natalie Evans head human trafficking and supply chainof ‘Transparency in Supply chains’ Procurement for the City of London will be addressing the challenges for developing effective compliance for Local Governance.

Chaired by CCARHT director Revd Dr Carrie Pemberton Ford the evening offers the opportunity to dig into what has already been achieved by advisory Supply Chain reporting, the wicked challenges which lie in its wake for sustainable development programmes, the responsibility and opportunity for ethically minded consumers and shareholders to sharpen up UK and international business boardrooms’ responses, and the upcoming landscape of global accountability around the inequalities which drive Human Trafficking opportunities.

 

st mary le Bow supply chains

What changes people’s minds in the discourse on Refugees?

 

This important week-end (13th – 14th January 2018) draws our attention to the plight of Refugees and those in Migration across the globe)

Oxfam Humanitarian Policy Adviser Ed Cairns reflects on using evidence to influence the treatment of refugees *

 

Ed Cairns  Oxfam consultant reflects on what changes minds on Refugees in the UK
Ed Cairns Oxfam consultant reflects on what changes minds on Refugees in the UK

Who thinks that governments decide what to do on refugees after carefully considering the evidence? Not many, I suspect. So it was an interesting to be asked to talk about that at the ‘Evidence for Influencing’ conference Duncan wrote about last week.

When I think what influences refugee policy, I’m reminded of a meeting I had in Whitehall on Friday 4 September, two days after the three-year-old Syrian boy, , had drowned. Oxfam and other NGOs had been invited in to talk about refugees. The UK officials found out what their policy was by watching Prime Minister David Cameron on their phones, as he overturned the UK’s refusal to resettle thousands of Syrians in a press conference in Lisbon. Even then, he and his officials refused to promise how many Syrians would be allowed. By Monday, that line had crumbled as well, and a promise of 20,000 by 2020 was announced.

The evidence of course had shown that children and other refugees had been tragically drowning in the Mediterranean for months. But it was the sheer human emotion, the public interest, and no doubt Cameron’s own compassion that made the change. Evidence and the evidence-informed discussion between officials and NGOs had nothing to do with it. More important was that a single image of a drowned boy spread to 20 million screens within 12 hours as #refugeeswelcome began trending worldwide. As research by the Visual Social Media Lab at the University of Sheffield set out, “a single image transformed the debate”.

Two years later, a new Observatory of Public Attitudes to Migration has just been launched by the Florence-based Migration Policy Centre and its partners, including IPSOS Mori in the UK. It aims to be the ‘go-to centre for researchers and practitioners’, and has sobering news for anyone who thinks that evidence has a huge influence on this issue. Anti-migrant views, it shows, are far more driven by the values of tradition, conformity and security, and within the UK in particular, according to an IPSOS Mori study, by a distrust of experts, alongside suspicion of diversity, human rights and “political correctness”.

Like a lot of Oxfam old-timers I have seen for decades how the poorest countries in the world host more refugees than most European countries could even dream of. But when I talk to colleagues working on Oxfam’s European migration response, I hear something very like what the Observatory is saying. “Facts confirm bias, or get challenged or ignored,” was the pithy comment of Claire Seaward, who runs Oxfam’s European migration campaign. And when NGOs from across Europe gathered this year at a conference on Communicating on Refugee and Migrant Issues, they heard of the power of emotion more than evidence, including from the research group Counterpoint, which pointed out that the vast majority of human thought is emotional, automatic and associative, and that we all accept falsehoods if they fit our existing views.

This isn’t just about attitudes to refugees and migrants, though perhaps they are a particularly emotive issue. Nor is it just about the woman or man ‘in the street’, while politicians consider evidence carefully. As an article in the British Journal of Political Science this August, ‘The Role of Evidence in Politics’, suggested, “politicians are biased by prior attitudes when interpreting information,” and new evidence may reinforce, not influence, those attitudes. Actually this was based on a study in Denmark, not the UK, but British readers can probably imagine what it meant.

So where does this leave NGOs trying to influence policy or public attitudes on refugees? To paraphrase Bill Clinton, “it’s the emotion, stupid”, that matters; or at least that’s the tone of quite a lot of NGO thinking as we try to communicate more effectively in difficult times. But Oxfam’s experience shows that it’s wrong to think that emotion and evidence are opposing choices.

Last year, as we began our “Stand As One” campaign on refugees, we published two pretty straightforward examples of “killer facts” – compelling figures to grab public attention. The first showed that the world’s 6 wealthiest nations, which made up more half of the global economy, hosted less than 9 per cent of the world’s refugees and asylum seekers. In contrast, half the world’s refugees and asylum seekers were hosted by countries such as Jordan and Pakistan, that collectively accounted for less than 2 per cent of the global economy.

The second showed that, for all the attention on Alan Kurdi’s death, the number of global refugee and migrant deaths went up by more than a fifth in the following year. Both these slim briefings had the same objective, to put Oxfam’s message in the minds of people we would be talking to soon, because the life of a “killer fact” is not long. (Alright, 8 men own the same wealth as half of humanity is an exception.) In July 2016, that was the hundreds of thousands of people going to the UK’s summer festivals, one of the main ways we were trying to promote a petition. In September, it was the diplomats meeting at summits on refugees and migrants in New York.

Both examples were new calculations using existing data, from UNHCR, the World Bank, and the International Organization for Migration, choosing data that would stir emotions, particularly in the case of deaths that rekindled memories of Alan Kurdi.

Both were inexpensive in staff time and had no other costs – not an irrelevant point as we try to work out what research has the most influence. Apart from Oxfam’s media output using celebrities, they had more media coverage in the UK than any of our other output in 2016 about refugees. Anecdotally at least, they did indeed help create a fertile climate to speak with festival-goers and high-flying diplomats alike.

That type of research is useful, of course, but also limited. Does it transform attitudes in the long-term? Does it influence people who don’t already agree with our views? I don’t think so. It feels like an approach that is talking to the 24% of people in the UK who are “open to immigration”, but perhaps not much to the 48% that are in “mid-groups” according to IPSOS Mori, and who are potentially open to the kind of genuine argument, rather than rallying the converted, that NGOs are not so good at.

The second approach is to use evidence in the “Stand As One” campaign was also useful but limited. That’s when we combined personal case stories with policy options or recommendations. A perfect example is a paper we published with the British Red Cross, Refugee Council and Amnesty International this February. Together Again presented seven cases to illustrate why particular policy suggestions would make sense.

Tesfa, a teenage refugee in the UK, for instance, was separated from his mother and younger siblings because the UK does not allow refugees under 18 to apply for their families to join them from abroad. ‘I Ask the World to Empathise’ took a similar approach, and was widely welcomed by already-interested diplomats in New York where it was mainly used. But does that kind of research speak to anyone who does not empathise with refugees already? I somehow doubt it.

The third approach is a more innovative and ambitious attempt, which my colleague, Franziska Mager, presented to the ‘Evidence for Influencing’ conference. She has used , a narrative-base method for collecting quantitative and qualitative data, initially in the Central African Republic. It involves asking displaced people to tell a story about a specific experience related to their decision making whilst in limbo, and then, through an intricate follow up questionnaire, to interpret through the respondents’ eyes what they find most significant. We’ll be publishing the results in the next few months, when we hope we will see how, when cleverly combined, the power of stories and of stats can work together to make a convincing argument.

But perhaps all these approaches have a common limit, when it comes to using them for influencing. Do they all speak to readers who, like their writers and researchers, believe in the value of universal human rights? The IPSOS Mori and other studies have shown that they – we – are no more than 20% or 25% of the population. Without influencing others, NGOs may hope for the odd success, such as seizing the moment to influence a Prime Minister to change one policy. But if NGOs are really going to help transform attitudes and eventually policy on refugees and migrants, it’s going to take not only a generation, but evidence that speaks to at least some of the “mid-groups” that are not convinced by NGOs’ traditional messages.

This takes us to one final research approach that we’re exploring now. We will find out if it works when we publish in 2018. With the Refugee Council, we’re exploring the experiences of a number of refugees in the UK, and in particular whether their experiences of the UK’s system of family reunification has had an effect on their ability to fit into British society. That in itself is a vital issue, but it’s also an issue which speaks not only to readers driven by universal human rights, but also to readers driven more by concerns for social cohesion in the UK.

That research is not quite finished, but what’s exciting about it, I hope, is that it’s providing evidence, and powerful human stories, not only for a traditional NGO narrative to uphold human rights – though it absolutely is. But it also fits a narrative that a far wider number of people already believe in – building social cohesion in a disunited Britain. And it brings those two things together in an inclusive narrative – that the UK should allow refugee families to live together in the UK, because that would be right and humane, and because it would help make the UK a more cohesive place as well.

Will that influence anyone? We’ll see. If it helps persuade a handful of MPs to change the UK’s family reunion policies, that will be worthwhile. But perhaps, just perhaps, it could be an example to follow in the future – generating evidence for inclusive narratives that could appeal beyond NGOs’ traditional supporters.

Link: this blog was first published on the from Poverty to Power pages on Oxfam International’s pages – thanks to Ed Cairns for the sharing of his thoughts originally published –
What kind of evidence might persuade people to change their minds on refugees?

The Cambridge Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking as an Action Research Centre is currently taking forward inclusive narrative research amongst a section of the Refugee, and failed Asylum seeking population in Sicily in conjunction with colleagues in the University of Palermo and the Centro Astalli – we look forward to some vlogs and publishing the resultant research when the project is completed later in the year. 

New South African Human Trafficking Resource Line

New South African Human Trafficking Resource Line

An important milestone to combat human trafficking in South Africa has been reached.

On 30 August 2016, the new South African National Human Trafficking Resource Line (NHTRL) was launched. It is tipped by local organisations to not be just another helpline to report human trafficking? In addition to it being an emergency helpline for human trafficking it is also a referral line for other services like training, awareness and information.

The South African National Human Trafficking Resource Line is: 0800 222 777

This line takes calls 24/7 and can assist callers from all 9 of South Africa’s provinces. Tip-off’s and requests for information, training and so forth can also be submitted online via the website, making the Resource Line multimodal to increase accessibility. The Call Specialists who answer calls are professionals, trained trained for purpose who follow international procedures, ensuring the fastest response to each case.

The Resource Line works in close partnership with many stakeholders in each province to ensure rapid response and effectiveness to each call or request. The line is a single number to call on all Human Trafficking related matters. It is also  a national collaboration between civil society and government. In other words, this resource line is a national collaborative initiative to report, respond to and ultimately eradicate Human Trafficking in South Africa.

WHEN SHOULD YOU PHONE?

To report suspected trafficking of persons and submit a tip.

  • This can be done by speaking to one of our call specialists or by completing an online tip form.
  • All reports are confidential and you may remain anonymous.

When you or someone you know, requires Victim Assistance.

  • If you think you are a victim of trafficking and need help, our call specialists are available to guide and support you while connecting you to the necessary partners and emergency services.

When you need information or services related to human trafficking

  • This is a new exciting tool to help move South Africa towards the eradication of modern day slavery, by following the Social Media Pages and staying up to date with the latest news. Visit the website to learn more about how you and your loved ones can protect yourself whilst traveling, applying for work or educational opportunities and about online safety measures.

www.0800222777.org.za.

 

Official Hashtag: #NHTRL #SeeSomethingSaySomething

www.facebook.com/FreedomGenerationSA
https://www.instagram.com/freedomgenerationsa_/

https://twitter.com/FreeGenSA?s=09

 

This news was shared with CCARHT by Professor Beatri Kruger (Criminal Law) from the University of the Free State, South Africa.

Culture, Context and International Cooperation: Day 2 of the Summer Symposium

Culture, Context and International Cooperation:

Day 2 of the Summer Symposium

Less than halfway through the CCARHT Summer School Symposium, a theme that strongly emerged was how broad and far reaching human trafficking is, whilst simultaneously being so distinctive in comparison to other crimes.

It is broad and far reaching in the sense that it is prevalent globally – at the national, regional and international levels. Additionally it covers many different types of crime, from slavery and labour exploitation, to fraud and similar financial criminal activity, and to forced sex work and organ harvesting.

It is distinct from other crimes in the sense of its structure, with levels of coordination differing at each stage of the trafficking process, and also in the sense that how its nature is dependent on the distinct cultural context in which it is operating. Yet in whatever form it manifests, one thing the symposium impressed on all present is how urgent the issue still is.

Glynn Rankin, Former co-Director of the UK Human Trafficking Centre, kicked off day two of the symposium, speaking about trafficking from a prosecutor’s perspective. While recognising that international co-operation is vital in tackling trafficking, Glynn emphasised the difficulties in this. Procuring, requesting and corroborating evidence from other countries makes the legal process very bureaucratic, even before the case goes to court, which presents new challenges regarding victim protection. While the reported cases of human trafficking have risen, the sad but unsurprising result of the complicated and lengthy prosecution process, is that the number of prosecutions have in fact fallen.

As if to bolster Glynn’s point on international cooperation, Professor P M Nair, (former senior Indian Police officer, UNODC, NHRC amongst others) then focused on India, drawing attention to the fact that India is a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking. The Indian government is not unaware of the issue; in fact, Professor Nair acknowledged that the government has set aside a substantial budget to start addressing trafficking. However, this is mainly spent on reacting to cases, whereas Professor Nair believes that the financial resources would be better spent on prevention and rehabilitation, particularly on capacity building – giving women the opportunity to study and work in order for them to support themselves, thus reducing the supply of potential trafficking victims.

This brought us onto one of the major discussion points of the symposium – how cultural and developmental contexts make people more vulnerable to being trafficked. In India specifically, the caste system means poverty is pervasive, creating vulnerability in an entire segment of the population – 82% trafficking victims are from the poorest castes. Added to this is the communitarian tradition, which sees families and communities playing a significant role in children’s decisions. In our more individualist society, it can often be difficult to comprehend why parents might willingly send their children away into sex work, but we must bear in mind that in impoverished rural areas, the opportunity for a child to go to the city to work may seem like an appealing one on the surface. Once in the city, the children are trafficked into sex work, with escape extremely difficult, unable to inform their communities at home of their predicament and the fraud. Hence Professor Nair stressed that sensitive intervention and good information are vital if we are to tackle the source issues.

Naturally, international differences do not only encompass economic disparity; Beatri Kruger, Professor of Criminal Law at the University of the Free State in South Africa, highlighted the abuse of African traditional religion by traffickers, demonstrating the role of cultural contexts to human trafficking. ‘Juju’ ritual practices have been used by the Yoruba people in South West Nigeria for centuries, with some criminalised, but others serving as binding legal oaths. Already, as Beatri pointed out, the law has a contradictory approach to the role of Juju. Amidst this confusion, traffickers now use Juju as an invisible control mechanism. Having subjected victims to an oath through Juju, involving inserting the evil spirit into the victim’s body, traffickers create a profound fear and belief that breaking the oath will result in misfortune. They gain an extremely powerful position over the victim, without having to place physical restraints on them, or even to be geographically proximate to the victim, because the ritual has made it spiritually impossible for their victim to escape.

These cultural and developmental issues create two related problems. Firstly, they are not immediately apparent – invisible control mechanisms are so powerful because they are difficult to detect, adding to the already huge challenge of identifying victims. Similarly, developmental issues are perpetual and permanent background issues that are not a direct cause of trafficking. Secondly, if we do not share the same cultural and economic backgrounds, it can be difficult for us to immediately understand the source issues. This makes it difficult to identifying the issues themselves and more difficult to tackle on a political and legal level. A huge question we face is how we can reclaim traditional practices from the abuse of traffickers, and to develop source areas’ economies and create more alternatives to taking up work opportunities that involve trafficking. However, these solutions must be navigated extremely carefully in order to avoid attacking and suppressing different cultural traditions. Identifying traffickers’ precise intervention with these traditions is a challenge in itself.

As well as the international component, trafficking is a distinct type of crime in its structure, as recognised by Dr Paolo Campana, University of Cambridge Lecturer in Criminology and Complex Networks, and Sine Plambech, a Post Doctural researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies. Dr Campana explained how there is relatively little coordination between actors in the recruitment and exploitation stages of trafficking, since they tend to operate individually, unlike other types of crime, where participants often contribute to a centralised criminal project. This adds to identification difficulties – tracking down one trafficker does not help to identify others in the same chain of trafficking. This is exacerbated by the fact that sometimes recruiters and madams may be victims themselves, as Sine pointed out. As it becomes more expensive to travel to the destination country, victims may try to recruit others to reduce the overall cost, blurring the line between victim and trafficker.

Not only are the traffickers difficult to identify, but also victims can often be hidden amongst crowds in day-to-day life. The current global focus appears to be on trying to catch trafficking at the transportation stage – we see this ourselves with increasingly stringent border controls. However, Dr Campana posed the question: ‘How are victims meant to be picked out from a crowd of ordinary travellers?’ Instead, he suggested that resources should be channelled to tackling trafficking at the source and exploitation stages, bringing us back to the contextual issues explored by Professors Nair and Kruger.

It is clear that human trafficking is an extremely urgent issue that cannot be ignored. Trying to understand the motivations of victims, consumers, and the traffickers themselves is essential. As Leo Sakomoto said at the end of the film ‘Not My Life’, which ended the day, ‘I can’t see a good life while there are people living like animals. Not because I’m a good person, not because it’s my duty, but because they are human—like me.’ Although there are cultural differences between regions, we all share a common humanity, and it is this with which we must engage in order to empathise with all actors involved in trafficking so that we can find an effective long-term solution. After all, as another quote from the film recognised, ‘trafficking is not an inevitable outcome of the human condition’.

This summer school has made me determined to contribute to the work against human trafficking to bring us closer to the day when trafficking is no longer an outcome of the human condition at all.

Version 2Thanks to our guest blogger Tiffany HuiTiffany has just finished her first year studying Law Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. She attended the CCARHT Summer Symposium 2016 as an intern, and is the secretary of Cambridge University Amnesty International. She is hoping to use this experience to pursue human rights law in the future. 

If you are a Student working in the field of migration, the history of Slavery or on aspects of Human Trafficking and would like to be part of our Associate Internship programme or post material to be considered for our blog – do be in contact – contact@ccarht.org.

What’s in a Name? Trafficking in a world of Modern Slavery – CCARHT Summer Symposium

CCARHT Summer Symposium

What’s in a Name? Trafficking in a world of Modern Slavery 

“The discussion around Human Trafficking has been led by the law…but only a multi-disciplinary, culturally contextual approach will truly enable use to understand the causes and find effective solutions.

Dr. Carrie Pemberton Ford

On Monday the 1st of August, the Cambridge Centre for Applied Research into Human Trafficking (CCARHT)’s inaugural Summer Symposium commenced. Situated in the 500 year old Upper Hall of Jesus College, Cambridge, the Symposium was led by CCARHT director, Dr. Carrie Pemberton-Ford and attended by members of NATO, MEP’s, lawyers, academics, businesswomen, psychologists and delegates from the USA to Switzerland, India to the UAE. The aim, to shift the perspective of anti-human trafficking advocacy from a purely legal lens to, as Dr. Pemberton-Ford enthusiastically repeated ‘twenty-twenty-vision’.

“What do we mean when we say someone has been trafficked?” – In the wake of UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s declaration of a £33m war-chest to combat ‘Modern Slavery’, terminology and history were the focal point for the first day of the Symposium. ‘When we consider trafficking, we have to be aware that at certain historically and culturally specific moments in time, different disciplines have come into play in order to define ‘trafficking’ as we have known it and as we understand it today’.  

As we began deciphering the language around trafficking, this already hydra-headed issue became far more complex. In it’s entirety, trafficking, as defined by the UN*, is equally distributed with a third occurring internationally, a third regionally and a third domestically. However, the nature of the 19th century Nation State, with its inherent sovereignty and defined borders, gave a historical context to the current over emphasis of trafficking as an international trade. The concept, which rests on the colonial enterprises of European nations in the wake of the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade – which in and of itself did not free those already enslaved, a task accomplished after an American civil war and further legislation – began a deeper discussion on, if any, the differences between trafficking and ‘Modern Day Slavery’. MEP Mary Honeyball, who has done extensive work with the European Parliament concerning trafficking, discussed this further, highlighting the focus on law enforcement within the Modern Day Slavery act rather than the gendered aspect of trafficking itself.

The highly asymmetrical and gendered nature of the issue was critically analysed through the psychological practice of neuroception. Considering we think our best when we feel safe, in situations of danger our flight or fight instinct is supposedly triggered. Yet, regarding the gendered aspect of trafficking, we discovered that the experiments that supported ‘flight or fight’ were only done on male lab rats. When the same tests were done on females, they tried to ‘absorb’ the situation. Unlike their male counterparts, when faced with an imminent, life threatening danger, female rats, and by extrapolation females, ‘play dead’, passing out or collapsing. With those caught in the high-risk activity of trafficking often stuck in zones of imminent danger, and thus often vulnerable if not dissociative, those who create policy are operating within a safe zone. As the day wore on, it became clear that, with European and North American nation states at the fore-front of the legal narrative surrounding and shaping human trafficking, not only do they often lack a historical perspective to their work, but they also lack the survivor narratives which are essential for designing effective policy.

In all, the opening day was an intense whirlwind that took us from the Palermo protocol through to anthropological readings of culture and language. It forced us to engage intimately with trafficking, to claw away at the legal jargon surrounding the issue, and begin to see its multi-faceted nature. Leaving with some of our core beliefs shattered if not severely questioned only hinted at what was to come as the week, and the Symposium, progressed.

*Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs (UNODC).

JK OfficialThanks to our guest blogger Justina Kehinde Ogunseitan. Justina is a Social Anthropology and English Literature graduate of the University of Cambridge. With a keen interest in BME women’s rights and welfare and human trafficking, she uses both academia and the creative arts as a means social advocacy. 


If you are a Student working in the field of migration, the history of Slavery or on aspects of Human Trafficking and would like to be part of our Associate Internship programme or post material to be considered for our blog – do be in contact – contact@ccarht.org.

The complex heritage of displacement: the long view of mediterranean ‘flight’

The complex heritage of displacement: the long view of mediterranean ‘flight’

Here in Cambridge we have the immense privilege of being able on occasion to step out of the mele of immediate  political and socio-economic pressures and take something of a ‘long view’ on some of the burning questions of contemporary times.

Such an opportunity opened up last month when the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research curated a day sympopsium on ‘The Heritage of Displacement : Forced Migration In The Mediterranean Through History’.

Across history the current site of extreme EU anxiety with hundreds of thousands now seeking entry into Europe via the Mediterranean fleeing warfare and poverty, has seen large human movement, frequently in clusters of activity.  In the Byzantine Empire there was a well-articulated slave trade mobilized through the Mediterranean, a period of slavery which extracted African populations in to Europe and the Byzantine Empire through Sicily, the expulsion of Jews from Spain triggered evacuation of that population through the Mediterranean, the persecution of gypsies across North Africa and the Southern Mediterranean; forced movements of Armenians; political migration of ‘city’ exiles from Greece, a whole range of ecological circumstances which had forced people from their homes and settled living, the threat of famine, severe cooling in Neolithic times, as well as more recent challenges of global warming.

LAMPEDUSA-photos-by-Vik-Muniz_5 2 Forced migration has the meaning embedded in its description – people leave their homes when their homes no longer let them stay. As Warsan Shire reminds us

No one leaves home unless

Home is the mouth of a shark

You only run for the border

When you see the whole city running as well

Your neighbors running faster than youboats with Africans

Breathe bloody in their throats

The boy you went to school with

Who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factoryMigranti Revignano fived day exposition 2015

Is holding a gun bigger than his body

You only leave home

When home won’t let you stay[1]

All these  ‘new comers’ who arrived, precipitously, unannounced, unbidden, brought their cultures in to the societies which for some they had chosen, others that they clung to and sought to find a safe place in which to integrate. And through this messy process precipitated by terror, dread, brutality, and flight, created heritage which are now celebrated in museums across Europe. Museums curate the  symbols of interconnections which lie inexorably between history, objects, people and memories. The Mediterranean sea bed however curates many thousands now of lost lives since the onset of the most recent pressure of movement started to arise after the blighting of hopes for liberal regime change after the suppression of the Arab Spring of 2010.

When people are forced to move they seek and find ways to express their love, sorrow, hope and despair in the midst of the fluidity and indeterminacy of movement. Forced travellers have and continue to be on a journey of searching to find a place to call theirs, and in doing so they have been making heritage by the very process of moving – however desperate the circumstances.

Disturbing and truthful images in Museo Atlantico, in Lanzarote, from British Artist British artist Jason deCaires Taylor
Lampedusa Cross – constructed from wooden fishing boats used in the Mediterranean crossings – commissioned by the Anglican Centre in Rome

The art and the art like detritus of safety harnesses, clothes and shoes, or the capsized fishing vessels and now inflatables, which has emerged from the  2014-2015  mass migration across from North Africa to Lampedusa on Sicily’s southern archipelago, is one of the instances of new images which have already started to populate our museums and places of public worship and reflection.  British artist They are a sign of the continuing sense making, and space making work which is deeply human, and reaches out to connect with settled humanity as others are forced to flee.

[1] Conversations about Home – Telling my mother how to give birth. Mouthmark series No 10  2011  Warsan Shire.

Thanks to our guest blogger Ekin Deniz Horzum, University of Glasgow, UK – PhD in Law who is one of our Associate Research Students working with CCARHT.  Ekin  attended this conference held in Cambridge University on May 13th 2016.  Ekin is hoping to be present at the CCARHT #SummerSchool August 2016 where we shall be exploring more about Migration , enslavement and contemporary themes of Human Trafficking in its Global as well as Mediterranean setting.
If you are a Student working in the field of migration, the history of Slavery or on aspects of Human Trafficking and would like to be part of our Associate Internship programme or post material to be considered for our blog – do be in contact –
contact@ccarht.org.