My three months placement at Shiva Foundation has gone by really fast. During my time with the Foundation I have had the opportunity to work as part of a dynamic team and be involved in many exciting projects. I worked mainly with the Strategy Lead, Nishma, assisting her with the logistics and development of the Shiva Hotels Anti-Trafficking Charter, which outlines a commitment to tackling human trafficking in all areas of Shiva Hotels. With no corporate sector experience prior to this placement, I have been able to gauge the value and potential of businesses leveraging their resources to address ingrained social issues.
As an anthropology student at Goldsmiths, University of London, I was eager to learn how to put my knowledge into practice outside of the academic field. In my third year, I applied for a module ‘Anthropology in Public Practice’ which offers an opportunity for a placement followed by a presentation and report. With a strong interest in issues related to human trafficking, my course convenor put me in touch with the team at Shiva Foundation. The Foundation has the privilege of having a close relationship with its parent company, Shiva Hotels, and also has strong links with the Local Community, due to the Director’s role as Local Councillor for Hertsmere Borough Council. In this respect, the Foundation is able to utilise its connections to address human trafficking within the corporate world and by engaging individuals through their Thought Leadership programmes.
Among the Foundation’s many projects, I was able to take ownership of social media, take part in the Women for Change Breakfast Club on ‘’Climate Change and Women’’, as well as contribute to anti-trafficking research. With the passing of the Modern Slavery Act in 2015, the Foundation has taken critical strides in promoting anti-trafficking policies across the business sector, specifically in the hotel and hospitality industry. I was lucky enough to be able to work on this area and now recognise what an exciting time this is for businesses to get engaged in social change.
Having had the opportunity to explore the link between business and human rights, I I look forward to strengthening my knowledge of this area in my final year at university. Following this, I would like to continue researching the shift in global consumer behaviour, specifically how our society is increasingly making more ethically conscious decisions.
This placement has been a very exciting journey and I look forward to using my experience at Shiva Foundation to continue exploring the issue of human trafficking.
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