CCAT & YCAHT BLOG
Monthly Archives: DECEMBER 2011
How much human traffickers use the internet to carry out their criminal activities cannot be said for sure, but what can be said for sure is that their actions will be visible and traceable when they do. The ditigal traces that are left behind can give investigators a lead to work with and the good news is Microsoft Research Connections is partnering with danah boyd, one of the top social media researchers from the Microsoft New England Research and Development Lab, and the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to look into the implications of technology in this heinous crime. read more
A recent article that appeared in the University of Nottingham's magazine highlighted the need for the awareness of trafficking by the general public. The article focused on the film 'Taken' (2008) starring Liam Neeson, which has recently been shown by Stop the Traffik in Nottingham. In an interesting argument, the article asks if trafficking has been glamourised by the film, or if it has served a purpose by bringing the enormity of the problem to the public. A film like Taken has the potential to influence millions of people. Addressing these issues could create the kind of pressure that has the power to change the trafficking industry. But does the way the issues are conveyed undermine their reality? Of course showing a film of what actually happens; a young girl goes on holiday, gets taken and is never heard from again, is lacking in plot. But the alternative presented in Taken; the girl’s ex-CIA agent father kills most of the generic Europeans he meets until he rescues her, returning her safely and smiling to Los Angeles, seems a long way off the reality of trafficking. Read more
Your Community Against Human Trafficking (YCAHT) is a campaign and support group that has grown out of our successful and highly respected work started through the Croydon Community Against Trafficking (CCAT). We are a coalition of concerned citizens and community groups dedicated in our aim to stop the injustice of human trafficking. We have made a real difference in Croydon and are regularly invited to share our progress with interested groups around the UK. As traffickers are experts at moving people and their operations around, we feel it is vital to share the tried and tested CCAT approach with many more communities throughout the UK. We don't just want to stop it happening in Croydon and end up moving the problem elsewhere. Therefore please join us in the fight to rid our towns and localities of this modern form of slavery that is Human Trafficking.
CCAT continues to campaign vigorously in the quest to free slaves of human trafficking in Croydon, ensuring those in authority are aware of the problem and that It remains high on the agenda. At the same time CCAT works in partnership with the various services in Croydon to help motivate them to improve their support for victims and to disrupt trafficking activity.
The key aims are:
2010/2011 has been a year of consolidation but also one with much going on behind the scenes on a broad scale. More supporters than ever are now involved in our campaign and around 50 of our 1,000 plus members are actively volunteering with us, contributing enormous amounts of their time towards the CCAT cause. It is thanks to all of these people, working together, that CCAT is now seen as a model of a community organisation fighting against trafficking, which is capable of being replicated elsewhere. On behalf of those vulnerable people out there I'd like to say a huge thank you to you all for what you have done and for your continued support.
In June we moved from the Migrant: Helpline office in Sydenham Road, Croydon to hot desk atthe CVA offices in London Road, West Croydon This is giving us the opportunity to mix with other charities, tap into the CVA resources and charity support sources and to access the volunteer promotion and training activities that take place there. Our phone number 0735 693931 and email email@example.com remain the same.
In the lastyear our office support has been given to us by Hannah, Niamh, Dan, Steve, Kim, Ami and Louise. They have been incredibly devoted and huge thanks should be extended to them for all they have done. Steve, Ami and Louise are still helping atthe communications hub and making surel CCAT contact is being sustained.
CCAT was awarded charity status in March 2011 after extensive discussions and exchanges of paperwork with the Charity Commission. CCAT'sregistered charity number is 1141863.
The Croydon Guardian awarded CCAT 'Croydon Charity of the Year for 2011' and this-was celebrated at the recent Croydon Champions evening at the Hilton Hotel, Purley Way. It was an opportunity to raise the profile with a number of Croydon decision makers and to be awarded £263 from the proceeds of the raffle on the night.
We are often asked to help set up or give advice to new anti-trafficking community groups in the UK and abroad, thus we have also developed www.ycaht.com . This will sit alongside the CCAT site. This will not stop us in the work we do in Croydon but will open up more opportunities in our positioning with new funders.
The IG volunteers meet every two to three months to establish from local newspapers, the internet and from cards appearing in small shops where dubious establishments exist in Croydon and nearby areas. The CCAT experience, supported by the police, is that there is a high possibility many of these establishments are using trafficked people. The CCAT Information gathered is shared with our local police who then determine the next steps. Several premises are now being investigated. This CCAT work is really appreciated by the Croydon Police Team.
The Schools Team continue to talk to 15 to 17 year olds in Croydon schools about modern day slavery, bringing up the issue of trafficking in the process. The Team visit during school days and are welcomed as they help bring a better understanding of what this slavery is all about. Input to the sessions by the youngsters is invariably constructive and positive.
Three new member meetings were held during the last year, when those who attended were given a more detailed explanation about trafficking, the Croydon experience and what CCAT is all about. Several people have since become active volunteers but just as importantly it gives people, armed with information concerned about trafficking, the confidence to talk to their friends and contacts about the subject and CCAT.
The UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) and the UK Border Authority (UKBA) are designated Competent Authorities overseeing the set-up of the NRM that will help victims of trafficking receive appropriate care. The UKHTC deals with referrals from the Police, Local Authorities and Non- Governmental Organisations and the UKBA deal with referrals identified as part of the immigration process. CCAT is contributing to the introduction of the NRM in Croydon, being part of a multi-agency working party group addressing its implementation and making sure that any measures to be introduced are for the benefit and safety of trafficked people.
In recent months the CCAT trustees decided to examine how the charity can utilise social media effectively in future. There is no doubt it is a powerful way of reaching people particularly those in their 20s and 30s. It could also be an inexpensive method of raising awareness and a way to tackle fundraising in an innovative way. The project is now underway and whilst we will be proceeding with some caution, we are excited about this step up in communication.
Following on from the Social Media plans we feel it is now time for us- to freshen up our web site. Our current site has done well and is considered very informative. However-,it may not be attracting the attention of as many new interested people as we would like so the plan is to ensure it remains just as informative with useful attachments but at the same time, for the site to have more instant appeal. The new site should be ready very shortly.
See separate papers to be read in conjunction with this report.
Police have identified 15 potential new victims of an alleged sex trafficking operation based in Northern Ireland, a court has heard. Detectives are seeking eastern European women seen on an escort website linked to the suspected vice ring. A man accused of being at the head of the prostitution racket was refused bail at Belfast's High Court on Friday. Bronislav Rybensky, 29, with an address at College Central Apartments, Belfast, faces a number of charges. Police investigating sexual trafficking in Northern Ireland have identified fifteen potential new victims of the crime, following the detention of a Czech man who has been arrested in Belfast for crimes of a sexual and trafficking nature. Detectives continue to seek women of Eastern European origins, seen on an escort website linked with the crimes, who may have been caught up in the ring. read more
Police in Northern Ireland have highlighted the gravity of the problem, which is increasing, and the need to treat cases of human trafficking as a more serious crime. Amnesty International were concerned by the recent police statistics, but were keen to praise the handling of the trafficking trade by police. Trafficked people being treated as criminals by officials, inquiry says. Human trafficking is a hidden crime in Northern Ireland, according to a senior member of the PSNI's organised crime branch. Det Supt Philip Marshall told the monthly meeting of the policing board that Northern Ireland was only seeing the "tip of the iceberg". In his presentation, Det Supt Marshall said 73 victims had been rescued since 2009. Most of these were brought from abroad by criminal gangs. BBC reporter Karen Atkinson said the the central theme of the presentation was to "challenge this myth about human exploitation here, including sex trafficking and to deal with the reality of it all".
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