Today, It’s a Penalty launched its thirteenth global campaign ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, focused on harnessing the power of sport to prevent abuse, exploitation and human trafficking. It’s a Penalty‘s first UK-hosted campaign is dedicated to educating sports fans and the general public about modern slavery, what it looks like and how to access help.
WHAT IS THE CAMPAIGN? ATHLETE CHAMPIONS AND CAMPAIGN VIDEO
In addition to Ellie Simmonds, Usain Bolt and Cathy Freeman, the campaign is supported by Olympic athlete Asha Philip and netball star sisters, Sasha and Kadeen Corbin. These high-profile athletes have lent their voice to help raise awareness via a 30-second video shown in-flight by Emirates Airlines and British Airways. If viewers suspect they’ve encountered a case of modern slavery, the campaign video encourages them to call the UK Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline on 08000 121 700. The campaign is also working with governmental, legal, local NGO’s and hospitality and tourism experts to distribute digital toolkits containing posters (translated into four languages), business cards and a list of local missing people in Hilton hotels across the West Midlands, airlines, and Airbnb hosts. Further details on campaign activity below.
THE EXTENT OF THE PROBLEM
Major sporting events can serve as the impetus for new or continued cycles of abuse, exploitation, and trafficking.
- There are an estimated 100,000 victims of modern slavery across the UK (Centre for Social Justice, 2020)
- The economic and social cost of modern slavery is believed to be between £3.3 billion and £4.3 billion (Centre for Social Justice, 2020)
- West Midlands Police reports that there are up to 4,200 victims of modern slavery in the region and 70% of known cases involve children (West Midlands Police, 2020)
- It is estimated that one in every 150 people in the Commonwealth is living in conditions of modern slavery (Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, 2020)
- One third of detected human trafficking victims areunder the age of 18 (UNODC, 2021)
“As a matter of urgency, we need to strengthen the prevention and elimination of forced labour, modern slavery, exploitation and trafficking of persons and the protection of the most vulunerable in society, especially children, in all the countries of our Commonwealth. It’s a Penalty and its partners are proud to be spearheading this Birmingham campaign in the run up to and during the 2022 Commonwealth Games, as one of the projects that is part of the United by Birmingham 2022 programme. Using the power of sport, everyone can play their part – from star athletes to members of the public, and from the travel and tourism and wider business sector to voluntary and faith organisations – all contributing to a positive legacy in the host city of Birmingham and beyond,” said Sarah de Carvalho, CEO, It’s a Penalty.
ADDITIONAL CAMPAIGN ACTIVITIES
- Bespoke 30-second campaign film, featuring high-profile Commonwealth and world athletes, including Usain Bolt, Ellie Simmonds and Cathy Freeman, Asha Philip and Sasha and Kadeen Corbin
- International airlines, British Airways and Emirates, will show the campaign film in-flight throughout the lead-up to and during the campaign
- Hosting a campaign launch at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel with two panels – one involving hospitality and tourism industry experts and another on local and grassroots efforts to combat modern slavery. The event will also be attended by local and national media, and special guests will be speaking
- Distributing digital kits containing informative campaign materials featuring the faces of the Commonwealth athletes, signs to look out for, and the Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline (Unseen) hotline information
- Working with Missing People to distribute a list of missing people from the West Midlands online
- Local Airbnb Hosts will receive educational materials on how to spot the signs of human trafficking
- Working with Birmingham City University and the University of Law, Birmingham to educate young people as part of the Student Ambassadors Network programme and create slavery-free campuses across the West Midlands
- Working with transport hubs, including the airport, train stations, buses, trams, to display campaign materials and film to passengers throughout the West Midlands
- Supporting Partners: Hilton, Rescue: Freedom International, Airbnb, The National Lottery Community Fund
- Friends: West Midlands Anti Slavery Network, Hope for Justice, West Midlands Violence Reduction Partnership, Missing People, Birmingham City Council, Unseen
- Participating Airlines: British Airways, Emirates Airlines
The It’s a Penalty campaign is part of the United by Birmingham 2022 programme.