Britain is gripped by election fever, and immigration is on everyone’s mind, and in every debate. So I thought I’d give it a bit of a STOP THE TRAFFIK spin and write about Safe Migration.
It’s really important when migrating or travelling to take certain precautions to stay safe, and not be vulnerable to human trafficking. These are just a few basic rules that make it harder to be forced into situations of exploitation.
Keep your passport on you at all times, and make sure you have a copy in a safe place.
Make sure to tell friends, family and people you know where you’re going and why.
Always leave behind contact details and a photocopy of your passport.
Try to stay in regular contact with your family and friends, and agree that if they don’t hear from you in a certain amount of time, they should seek help.
Agree on an emergency word or phrase with family or friends, so if you speak to them but cannot talk freely you can use this word and they will know you’re in danger and to contact the authorities.
If you’re migrating to work in another country or a different city for an agency or company check them thoroughly before you go. If you have friends who work with them, ask about what it’s like.
If any travel expenses or accommodation are being paid by the employer confirm in writing if you are expected to pay them back.
Know in advance how much you will owe, whether you will need to pay interest, and how long it will take to pay back. Get this all in writing, in a language you understand and make a copy.
It is best to have drafted an agreement beforehand of how many days off you will be allowed.
Leave copies of all the agreement paperwork with people you trust and who you can contact or in another safe place.
At STOP THE TRAFFIK we believe that knowing ways to migrate safely can make a huge difference and significantly reduce vulnerability to human trafficking.
If you travel often, and want to know more about staying safe and spotting potential signs of trafficking around you, join our Business Travellers Campaign. Find out more on www.businesstravellers.org