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Youth Ambassador 2015
Shreeya studies Business and Politics at Aston University. After completing a placement at Goldman Sachs, she wanted to make the most of her summer and work for an organisation and cause that she was passionate about. In 2011 Shreeya went to Ahmedabad in India with an organisation called Connect India where she was inspired by their determination to empower women and children. It was this trip that led her to be a Youth Ambassador for Shiva Foundation.
“As a young girl, brought up in a safe and secure environment, I believe it is our obligation to use our education to both raise awareness and prevent crimes of human trafficking and modern slavery.”
Divina studies Politics and International Relations at the University of Leeds. Having completed a one-year placement at MEC Global, Divina joined Shiva Foundation with the hope to cultivate a greater understanding of trafficking and modern slavery in the UK. Through her time at the Shiva Foundation as a Youth Ambassador, she hopes to bring greater awareness and informed action to this issue.
“The ability to exercise free will and autonomy is central to living a life as a free and equal human being. I feel strongly that every individual should possess this fundamental right.”
Anna is taking a gap year before going to Cambridge University in October 2016 to read Human, Social and Political Sciences. She has experience working with international children’s charities and environmental organisations such as New Life Nyambene and Rainforest Alliance. Anna is driven to understand what is required to create and maintain a just society, and is committed to causes related to gender equality and human rights, making human trafficking an issue of primary importance. Throughout her time as Youth Ambassador she hopes to learn more about human trafficking and to help fight against it by sharing what she learns with others, drawing attention to how slavery manifests itself in the twenty-first century.
“To treat a human being as a commodity to be bought and sold is to take from them the dignity of freedom. Every individual has the right to positive freedom. No individual has the right to take it from them.”
Youth Ambassador 2016
Kathryn came to the UK from Hong Kong five years ago. She currently finished her penultimate year in Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths College and has joined Shiva Foundation to bridge her knowledge and skills with a workplace compassionate and ambitious for the world. Her previous experience in International Citizen Service (UK) with Tearfund in Bolivia, as well as being a researcher for peer organisations in Mother’s Choice (HK) has given her insights into community work. She is excited to be part of Shiva to learn more about long term holistic planning that engages with all levels of community to ensure a lasting social impact in the long run.
‘Human trafficking is a repercussion of long term poverty and deprivation in livelihood, values and humanity. Everyone has an impact in this world. If you are capable, utilise your choice to choose good over evil.’
Yuan is a penultimate year Geography student at University College London, having just returned from her year abroad at University of California, Berkeley. Whilst at Berkeley, she had the opportunity to take part in a number of anti-human trafficking conferences that triggered her interest in the topic.She is now conducting research for her dissertation on this issue. Yuan joined Shiva Foundation to play a more active and hands-on role in the collective fight against modern day slavery and experience working in a small, close-knit team within the human rights sector.
“For victims of human trafficking, life is war. It is a constant struggle for their freedom, dignity and basic human rights. However, we can fight this horrid crime together by being proactive and doing something about it, no matter how small or big that may be.”
Zula came to the UK from Germany to pursue her Masters in international Peace and Security at Kings College London. She has worked for human rights organisations in Benin, South Africa and Germany, mainly focusing on refugee and migrant worker’s rights. During her studies she has compiled reports on human trafficking and is writing her dissertation on the strategic use of human trafficking by contemporary terrorist networks. She joined Shiva Foundation in order to make use of her theoretical knowledge and actively tackle human trafficking and slavery.
“Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world and knows no borders. As we are faced with a sophisticated transnational business of traffickers we need to work together and create our own network to end this dangerous trend. “
Millie is a second year student at Royal Holloway University of London going into her final year of her undergraduate degree. She is currently studying International Relations, which is where her interest in human rights grew. As a result of this interest and the experience she has gained with Shiva Foundation, she will apply for a Masters in Human Rights and Human Security after she completes her undergraduate degree. Throughout her time at Shiva Foundation, Millie aims to gain experience with social media, writing blogs and policy papers, whilst making a positive impact on tackling human trafficking in the UK.
“Human trafficking, through human exploitation and gross violations of right to life and individual freedom, is thriving today. Everyone has fundamental human rights and these shouldn’t be infringed upon. Together we can end modern slavery”.
Programme Assistant Intern
Jessica has a background in international relations and development, and is currently writing her dissertation for her MSc in International Management at King’s College.She previously volunteered with the Counter-Trafficking Unit at the International Organisation for Migration in Malaysia, where she was involved in mapping existing support services for victims of trafficking and carried out research to identify gaps and priorities for action. Jessica’s experience has allowed her to pursue her passion in issues related to human rights, specifically modern slavery. She is currently planning the launch for the Women for Change Breakfast Club and is also working on raising awareness around human trafficking issues by engaging people through the Youth Campaign.
“I have always had an interest in human trafficking and given my background, I feel particularly drawn to looking at the issue within the UK itself. I am excited to be a part of such a distinctive programme here at Shiva Foundation.”
Programme Associate / Executive Assistant to Director
Natasha has worked within the Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability space for the past six years. She has worked for several reputable organisations ranging from Magic Circle Law firms and leading Global Investment Banks, to boutique CSR consultancies. Natasha brings experience in implementing projects that create positive social change in local and global communities. She also has a wide range of experience in human rights, including working for an anti-death penalty firm and setting up several pro bono law clinics. She studied Law at the University of Warwick and graduated in 2009.
‘’I believe that a right is not something that is given to you, but something that no one can take from you. Unfortunately, this underrepresented opinion means it is paramount that privileged communities assist those who cannot be heard. Shiva Foundation are innovative in their approach and embrace collaboration, which makes it a really exciting place to work.’’
Konstantia arrived in London from Greece two years ago. She obtained her Master’s degree in International Human Rights and Social Justice at London Metropolitan University. During her studies she completed her student placement which complemented her graduate study of human rights through introducing her to specific activities of research in the field. Her involvement with charity work and volunteerism has subsequently convinced her that this is the field she is truly passionate about. Throughout her time as Youth Ambassador she aims to enrich her knowledge about modern slavery and hopes to contribute in any way she can towards Shiva Foundation’s remarkable goal to tackle and end human trafficking.
“Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. Human trafficking is one of the most terrible human rights violations nowadays. All we have to do is to not become silent about things that matter. Together we can tackle the problem; together we can put an end to this heinous crime.”
Anti-Trafficking Programme Intern
Isobel graduated from the University of Exeter this year with a degree in English Literature, and is now taking time to gain practical experience in the NGO and human rights sectors before applying for a Masters in Human Rights. Her interest in tackling modern slavery was sparked by the work of anti-trafficking organisations and police operations in the South West, where she attended university and volunteered with anti-trafficking charity Restore. Isobel is excited to be working in such a unique organisation as Shiva, communicating directly with the business sector to achieve social change.
“To enslave a person is to dehumanise them, diminishing their worth to that of a commodity, and holding in contempt the human rights of that person to lead a fulfilling and independent life. Whilst trafficked people around the world are mostly invisible, it is imperative that the voices of those who cannot speak are amplified by those who are free. “
Youth Ambassador 2017
Sophie came to the UK from Switzerland to pursue her Bachelor of Laws at London Metropolitan University and her Masters in Human Rights at London School of Economics and Political Science. During her studies, she completed her dissertation on mega events and labour exploitation, focusing on the role of sport federations, and businesses in general, in promoting human rights in host countries. She has worked for human rights organisations in Ghana and Belgium. She has joined Shiva Foundation in order to further complement her academic competencies with practical experiences and actively tackle human trafficking and modern slavery.
“Every individual has the right to live with dignity and freedom. With millions of victims, human trafficking constitutes one of the most atrocious violations of human rights. Together we must unite and fight this heinous crime.”
With a background in education, international development and UK public sector events, Kat joined the Shiva Foundation at the end of 2017 to make the move to a non-profit sector role where she can be at the centre of efforts to tackle long-standing social issues, in order to bring about positive change for individuals and communities in the UK and abroad. In the two years prior to this move, she had sought to gain an enriched understanding of the workings and challenges facing the UK public sector. Kat also spent much of her time during and after university working and volunteering abroad in Belgium, France, Ghana and Mongolia. She graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2014 with a degree in French and Politics.
“All UK workers, no matter of their ethnic or country origin, have the right to fair pay and decent working conditions. Yet, modern slavery is a long-standing socio-economic issue in the UK. The determination of organisations, such as the Shiva Foundation, to tackle such complex social problems has been and will continue to be paramount to bringing about effective, sustainable change in this area and beyond.’’
Sian joined Shiva Foundation in 2016 to manage the organisation’s portfolio of anti-trafficking projects. Sian brings experience managing humanitarian education projects with the British Red Cross and working on capacity building and access-to-justice projects with Legal Support for Children and Women, a local anti-trafficking NGO in Cambodia. She originally moved from Canada to London to obtain a MA in Human Rights from UCL and a Graduate Diploma in Law. Over the years she has provided research and communications support to various human rights organisations, such as Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX), the Anti-Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit (ATLEU), and RightsInfo.
“Modern slavery is one of the greatest violations of human rights and one of the hardest to tackle because of its hidden nature. I have always been passionate about human rights and ensuring they can be enjoyed by everyone equally. Organisations like Shiva are doing great work to see to the eradication of modern slavery and I hope I can continue to contribute to that fight.”
Nishma is a qualified lawyer and passionate human rights activist. Having qualified at Linklaters LLP, she joined Shiva Foundation in 2014 in order provide strategic direction and assist in developing key collaborative projects. Nishma has experience working with vulnerable individuals through her work at the Free Representation Unit and has led several legal advocacy initiatives in the UK, Afghanistan and India, with a particular focus on women’s rights. She also serves on the board of Strategic Advocacy for Human Rights and works pro bono at the Anti-Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit.
“Every individual, no matter what their background, has an inherent right to live with dignity. Human rights are the key to providing that dignity so I am honoured to be able to work for an organisation that fights for the rights of some of the most vulnerable people in the world.”
Founder & Director
Rishi studied Economics at Cambridge and graduated to work as a derivatives trader at Lehman Brothers. In 2003, Rishi founded Shiva Hotels and in 2012, as Shiva Hotels was growing, he founded Shiva Foundation. As a father of two, Rishi was deeply moved by the issue of child trafficking in particular and wanted to dedicate his resources to tackling this challenge. He firmly believes that his hotel business is an innovative tool to address the issue of human trafficking globally.
“There is no question that child trafficking is the human rights violation of our time but despite its severity and horror, it receives very little prominence. I hope Shiva Foundation can make a positive contribution to fight against this awful crime.”
Our work to build capacity across communities and with dynamic young people is driven by our Senior Programme Manager Sian Lea
With eight years’ experience working in the charity and NGO sector on humanitarian projects, Sian has extensive experience empowering vulnerable groups, such as young people and women who have been victims of violence, to make positive change in their communities. Sian manages Shiva Foundation’s anti-trafficking projects at community level, ensuring that vulnerable and influential groups are aware of the factors that contribute to human trafficking and modern slavery and are empowered to take action to stop it.
To engage individuals from across the corporate and social sectors in driving systemic change we tap into the networks and legal expertise of our Head of Strategic Development Nishma Jethwa
Nishma is a qualified lawyer and passionate human rights activist. Following a career at law firm Linklaters LLP, she joined Shiva Foundation to provide strategic direction and now leads the development of collaborative projects across both the hotel and hospitality industry and community-based areas of our work. An experienced advocate, also serves on the board of Strategic Advocacy for Human Rights and works pro bono at the Anti-Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit.
Our work to educate and empower local communities to tackle human trafficking and modern slavery is led by Founder and Director Meenal Sachdev
As a Councillor in Hertsmere and with extensive experience in the charity and NGO sector, Meenal understands the power that communities working collectively can have to create long-lasting change. Her extensive network across business, civil society and the charity sector help Shiva Foundation to act as a catalyst for action, bringing influential people and organisations together create long-lasting systemic change.
To lead change in the hotel industry we draw on the experience of Founder and Director, Rishi Sachdev
Rishi formed Shiva Hotels in 2003, following a career as a derivatives trader at Lehman Brothers. From the beginning, Rishi’s vision for Shiva Hotels has been for a responsible business that is setting a positive example in its sector. To help realise this vision, Rishi formed Shiva Foundation with his wife Meenal in 2012. Today, Rishi informs Shiva Foundation’s work to tackle the practice of human trafficking and modern slavery in the UK hotel industry by sharing the knowledge that comes from implementing best practice in Shiva Hotels and by advising on the opportunities and challenges that face the industry as a whole.
Shiva Foundation works directly with Shiva Hotels to develop, test and evolve best practice, which can be shared throughout the hotel industry.
To engage individuals in driving systemic change we:
To educate and empower local communities to address human trafficking we:
To tackle the practice of human trafficking and modern slavery in UK hotel industry we will:
It has been my honour to serve as Shiva Foundation’s Director in its commitment to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking since 2012.
As a mother of two young boys, I have been devastated by the issue of human trafficking, which not only jeopardises people’s human rights, independence and power but also threatens their very existence. There are an estimated 45.8 million victims of human trafficking globally. This includes sexual exploitation, forced labour and domestic servitude, where 29 per cent of reported victims in the UK are children.
I believe that everyone should have access to the same levels of freedom. That is why I have focused my efforts on supporting and launching programmes that address human trafficking and other human rights violations.
To fight such complex social issues, all stakeholders need to work together, including government, businesses, local communities and civil society organisations. Coming from a social impact background and as a local politician, I am eager to challenge the way solutions are found to address some of the world’s most complex problems and champion progressive approaches. Collaboration and systemic change are embedded within Shiva Foundation’s remit and I always welcome the opportunity for new partnerships with innovative and groundbreaking organisations.
The support I have received from my husband and family has played a key role in my career. In turn, I hope that Shiva Foundation can help support and catalyse the journey of other individuals and organisations.
Director and Founder