A Letter from our CEO Ruth Dearnley

It’s been a strange year. In such a short time, Coronavirus has impacted every person in some way, all over the world.

Global conversation has changed as we have all had to adapt cohesively to a threat we all face – and work together to stop it accordingly. But although borders shut and people isolated, traffickers continued to exploit at every opportunity. Times of uncertainty such as this, when many people face increased vulnerability, are when traffickers can thrive.

If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that we can only combat adversity together.

Ruth Dearnley

At STOP THE TRAFFIK, we have been working hard to turn the tide on trafficking and protect vulnerable people during this time. We have scaled our projects, adapting our approach to combat the exacerbated risk of modern slavery. This year we have grown as a team whilst delivering a critical level of impact to evidence disruption of global trafficking. I am thrilled to share with you all we’ve achieved.

Read our 2020 Impact Report here.


This year, we delivered 10 targeted social media awareness campaigns in 4 countries, across 3 continents, in 6 languages. We reached over 1.9 million people, helping to improve the safety and choice of those vulnerable to being trafficked.

Our campaigns targeted hard to reach communities, including but not limited to:

  • Filipino domestic workers vulnerable to do domestic servitude/workplace exploitation
  • Women and children vulnerable to sex trafficking in Bali
  • Latin American cleaners vulnerable to labour exploitation and labour rights violations as a result of Covid-19
  • Communities in Manchester vulnerable to sexual exploitation and labour exploitation
  • Women in the US vulnerable to domestic sex trafficking

Business work

Our business team continues to help organisations reduce the risk of modern slavery in their operations. This year, we worked on supply chain risk mapping projects for 4 companies, covering £2 billion annual spend across 14,600 suppliers.

Traffickers thrive because of their ability to transport the profits of their crime unimpeded. It is essential for banks and financial organisations to know how to spot the signs of financial crime, and this year, we worked with 5 banks and financial institutions to improve identification and responses to human trafficking.

“Working with STOP THE TRAFFIK has enabled a greater understanding of the numerous guises of human trafficking and the potential opportunities to detect, deter and disrupt, protecting the most vulnerable.”

Samantha Margiotta, Senior Manager, Financial Crime Unit, Santander

Other Achievements

  • The team has delivered multiple trainings to staff in sectors including hotel and finance. Our online training aimed at staff in hotels temporarily housing homeless people as part of the governments ‘Everyone In’ scheme was downloaded over 1,500 times.
  • We have grown alongside the Traffik Analysis Hub, the global data sharing platform we founded with IBM in 2017. It now holds in excess of 870,000 records and is being used to facilitate information sharing about human trafficking across all industries and sectors.
  • We’ve designed a data collection mechanism that minimises data leakage and sets parameters to allow us to quantitively analyse human trafficking activity.
  • We’ve increased the quality of our dataset to address potential Western biases in open-source collection by expanding the number of different languages ingested to 29.

If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that we can only combat adversity together. With continued uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, the risk of trafficking remains at an all-time high. But we believe we have the power to end it.

We have great plans for 2021 – to continue scaling our model, protecting vulnerable people, building partnerships that deliver change, creating resilient communities where traffickers are prevented from operating and growing our team that reaches across all corners of the world. Now is the time to act, and we are committed to another year of influencing local, national and global systems with our intelligence-led approach – because we won’t stop, until we’ve created a world where people are not bought and sold.

But our eyes are not just set on next year. I have been talking about the need to see the next 10 years as a DECADE OF INTENT. We will be launching new ideas and initiatives in January to deepen and widen the collaboration necessary to all achieve our common goal of stopping the traffick.

Thanks again for your vital support this year. We wish you the very best for 2021.

Only together, can we STOP THE TRAFFIK.


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