Update on the progress of the Combat Human Trafficking Project

  • Human trafficking (also known as ‘modern slavery’) is one of the most profitable types of crime in the world, with an annual trade value of around $32 billion. There are estimated to be over 30,000,000 trafficking victims (slaves) globally and this figure continues to rise. Unfortunately, a large proportion of trafficking is done, often unwittingly, through hospitality and tourism businesses which, by their nature, facilitate the movement and accommodation of traffickers and their victims. There is also significant evidence that hospitality businesses are used for both sexual and labour exploitation of trafficking victims.

    The Combat THB (trafficking human beings) project is being undertaken by a consortium of researchers from the University of West London, Oxford Brookes University, the Lapland University of Applied Sciences and the Ratiu Foundation for Democracy. Funded by the EC Directorate of Home Affairs, the project aims to develop a comprehensive preventative and remedial training toolkit for all levels of staff in the hospitality and tourism industries. To achieve this aim, the project examines trafficking from an operations (business) perspective, a law enforcement perspective and a victim’ s perspective.

    We are pleased to report that we have completed the data collection for Stage 1 of the project. In this stage, we sought to identify the vulnerabilities to THB and best practice anti-THB policies and activities within hospitality and tourism through a series of research interviews with NGOs, hospitality company executives and law enforcement agencies. Interviews, conducted in the UK, Romania and Finland are now being used to build THB case studies.

    We are also pleased to announce that we have begun collecting data for Stage 2 of the project. In this second stage, we are conducting surveys within hotels in order to identify critical control points at each stage of the trafficked victim’s ‘journey’ and identify barriers that can be raised to deter THB within a hotel. We would like to thank the national and international hotel chains who have agreed to participate in the study and the following organisations for their help in getting sufficient surveys completed:

    • Institute of Hospitality
    • People 1st

    If you would like your company to participate in this worthwhile project then please contact Professor Alexandros Paraskevas on aparaskevas@uwl.ac.uk

    For further details about the project and full European project team please visit: http://www.brookes.ac.uk/microsites/combat-human-trafficking/

    Or tweet your interest in this project visit: https://twitter.com/CombatTHB

    This blog reflects only the author’s views and not those of the European Commission. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of information contained in this blog.