Calling all students ….

Greetings blog-lovers! This is Phil Stibbe, your stand-in blogger for this week! I joined Stop the Traffik last year after learning about human trafficking on my Politics uni course, and thought I’d give the guys down in London a hand for a couple of days doing some work experience…

… Human trafficking into prostitution and forced labour is a grave injustice and a massive problem (the fastest growing international crime) – one that’s too big for governments to handle alone. It needs a continual local, national, and global effort to counter it. At Sheffield University I head up the Stop the Traffik society, and we’ve had great fun campaigning and raising awareness about human trafficking. The key message we try to communicate is that ordinary people can make a difference – through the clothes and food they choose to buy, by signing petitions and writing to their MPs, and so on. Raising awareness is key – a lot of people just don’t know that trafficking could be going on just down their road, or that the t-shirt they’re wearing might have been made by exploited labourers in a foreign country…

… So I want to encourage you to go wild for the cause! Campaigning can be great fun. Last year myself and two friends did a sponsored charity hitchhike from Sheffield to Estonia in order to raise awareness and money for Stop the Traffik, and this year we did the same thing to Croatia! I reckon we raised well over £2,000, and it was one of the most fun things I ever did – so go for it! There are loads of great ideas out there. Just yesterday people were dressed in white and wearing shackles at the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square to raise awareness about human trafficking. Awesome! I’m just waiting for someone to walk through London dressed as a giant Stop the Traffik key from the logo! (Anyone up for it?). Seriously though, outrageous injustice inevitably requires people to speak out outrageously. Let’s not silently let companies like Nestlé nestle into passive indifference to the injustice that they foster. Let’s not be hesitant to play our part in educating others about the reality of sex trafficking across the world.

Let’s be the change that so many men, women, and children need us to be.

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