COMBAT Trafficking in Human Beings

Recently I was delighted to accept an invitation to join the Advisory Board of COMBAT Trafficking in Human Beings  in Hospitality and Tourism.   The Board is made up of professionals from the tourism sector, anti trafficking NGOs, policy makers and leading security industry figure from across Europe.

The project was officially launched in October 2014 at Oxford Brookes University and is a project funded by the EC Directorate of Home Affairs under the Internal Security Fund’s targeted call for Trafficking of Human Beings. COMBAT seeks, in full alignment with the “EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings (2012-2016)” and the Directive 2011/36/EU, to involve all the relevant hospitality and tourism stakeholders in the design of a preventive and remedial training toolkit that will offer unique, practical, step-by-step guidance for tourism businesses to combat THB.

The core goal of the project is to develop a comprehensive training toolkit for all levels of a hospitality and tourism business. It will combine the victim, the law-enforcement and the business perspectives into a more effective sector-wide approach to fight THB, by setting up company-wide policies, procedures and communication structures that will identify, deter and prevent trafficking and encourage wider partnerships in combating it.

Its aims are

  •  To combat THB not by merely raising awareness among members of staff but by providing effective support structures that actively engage all levels of the organisation in the prevention of THB, protection of both victims and the organisation and remediation of the issue at a more macro-level.
  • To develop and implement policies and strategies to prevent or mitigate THB in hospitality and tourism using robust and scientifically proven frameworks and protocols such as the Three Lines of Defence Model, the Risk Management Cycle Model, the Barriers Model, the Athens Ethical Principles and the Luxor Protocol.
  • To create and sustain an organisational environment where managers and employees who witness THB are encouraged to report incidents, feeling safe that they will supported and protected and knowing exactly how they can facilitate law enforcement in the effective prosecution of traffickers.
  • To better support trafficking victims immediately when a case is discovered and before authorities and social services take over but also in the longer run as part of its corporate responsibility programme.

The principal investigator will be Professor Alex Paraskevas of the University of West London, who will be working with Professor Simonetta Manfredi and Dr Maureen Brookes of Oxford Brookes University, as well as colleagues from Lapland University of Applied Sciences and the Ratiu Centre for Democracy in Romania.

I look forward to making a contribution to this very worthwhile project/

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