World Day Against Trafficking in Persons took place on 30 July 2015. Naturally we wanted to do our part here at The Hampton by Hilton Derby City Centre and help raise as much awareness as we could. Particularly, because we know that even when people are aware of trafficking, more often than not we assume the only form of trafficking that exists is sex trafficking. This is simply not true. Only a few years ago, a couple here in Derby were were found living in a house with 11 men between 20 and 40 years of age living in one bedroom being forced to work at a local car wash. They were only paid £10 per week. Luckily the people responsible were brought to justice but situations like this are still happening, which is why organisations such as the Shiva Foundation are so important.
With the help of Shiva Foundation, we were able to screen a short film called ‘Two Little Girls’ to support World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Two Little Girls is an animated short film aimed at young women in Eastern Europe and other locations throughout the world that are in danger of being trafficked. The film was made with the support and guidance of a group of Albanian women who were trafficked to the UK and rescued by Poppy Project. The film played continuously throughout the day, and next to the television we placed leaflets with information about World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the origin of ‘Two Little Girls’ as well as a range of information about the different kinds of trafficking which are taking place throughout the UK.
Photographs of the television playing the short movie and the leaflet were also shared on the Hampton by Hilton Derby City Centre Facebook page as well as being shared on staff member’s personal pages. We even created a Twitter account to share our resources, using the hashtag #WorldDayAgainstTraffickinginPersons to chime into the conversation and draw attention to what organisations, businesses and individuals were doing to commemorate this day.
Many of the other Shiva Hotels throughout the country also screened ‘Two Little Girls’ in their communal areas for the public to see, as well as sharing what their teams had done to raise awareness on a variety of social media platforms.
Everyone here at the Hampton by Hilton Derby City Centre has now discussed this topic at length; the different cases of human trafficking that take place in our immediate community as well as ensuring all staff members are aware of what signs should be looking for. Hotels are a prime location for people who have first been brought to Britain as a lay point before being transported to their final destination and sex trafficking in the United Kingdom also often takes place in hotels. We also know that subcontracted staff could be victims of human trafficking. It is vital that people working in this industry are alert and aware of the signs, and here at the Hampton by Hilton we are taking steps to ensure sure our team are being as vigilant as possible to help root out this heinous crime.