20.03.2024

Reflections on Combating Human Trafficking

My Journey with STOP THE TRAFFIK Group

Hello! I’m Si Eern, a second-year undergraduate majoring in Security and Crime Science at UCL. My journey with STOP THE TRAFFIK Group (STTG) began in October 2023 as part of a work placement module for my programme, and today marks my last day with them.

My role involved conducting research and project support for Aman Safety, a campaign that aims to prevent human trafficking, including organ trafficking and sexual exploitation, amongst refugees and asylum seekers in Türkiye, Greece and Cyprus. I gathered data, drafted intelligence reports and contributed ideas to the projects’ planning and execution. This included regular monitoring of media outlets, analysing existing policies and measures, providing recommendations and many more.

Reflecting on my journey with STTG, I feel deeply fulfilled to have contributed to our understanding of the current landscape of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking (MSHT) in Greece. Through my research efforts, I believe we have gained valuable insights that have not only shed light on the realities faced by victims but also steered Aman Safety towards a more informed path forward.

Prioritizing Information, Enhancing Advocacy, and Deepening Empathy

My time at STTG has been a transformative journey for me, both professionally and personally. I have learnt the importance of information prioritization and acquired a deeper understanding of data analysis techniques and the necessity of collating real-time cases. It has also significantly enhanced my skills in advocacy and campaigning. On a personal level, immersing myself in such materials weekly has undeniably deepened my empathy and awareness of the suffering endured by victims worldwide.

When I embarked on this placement, I set three objectives for myself:

1. Gaining Exposure to Real-World Tools and Techniques

2. Developing Report Writing Skills

3. Applying Academic Knowledge to Practical Situations

I am pleased to affirm that my time at STTG has allowed me to realize these objectives. I had the privilege of delving into the intricacies of the Trafficking Analysis Hub, engaging in insightful discussions with partner organizations, and honing my report-writing skills to craft informed narratives and strategic recommendations. Moreover, I have found that the coursework from my university program offered invaluable insights that directly informed the content of my research and its practical implications for addressing real-world human trafficking challenges.

The importance of collaboration and knowledge-sharing

Furthermore, this placement has underscored the importance of collaboration and knowledge-sharing in crime prevention. Indeed, the collective efforts of dedicated individuals are indispensable in combatting MSHT effectively. It has been truly heart warming to see individuals, organizations, and resources converge in a unified front against exploitation.

It has been a privilege to contribute to this noble cause, and I am genuinely filled with a deep sense of purpose to make a meaningful difference. The invaluable experiences gained over the past 20 weeks have fostered personal growth and a heightened commitment to combating human trafficking. The sense of fulfilment derived is immeasurable, and I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to continue my involvement with them independently. Together, we could strive towards a world free from exploitation.

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