Monday 08 August 2022
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Media Release

NEW NAME FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING CHARITY


MEDIA RELEASE: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not Bailiwick Express, and the text is reproduced exactly as supplied to us

A LOCAL charity aiming to raise awareness of the risks of human trafficking has rebranded following interest in its work from outside of the island.

Guernsey Against Sex Trafficking was launched by Retha Jenkins in April 2013 after she heard a speech in London on the issue of human trafficking, which is now the fast growing criminal enterprise in the 21st century with an estimated 27 million people enslaved around the world, approximately half of those being children.

‘The statistics shocked me so much that I realised I needed to do something and set up GAST with the aim of raising awareness in Guernsey. Now, little more over a year later, the work we are doing has been noticed by other islands and so the time was right to change our name so that we can further our reach,’ said Mrs Jenkins.

Now named Protect, the charity will continue its work of raising awareness of the problem, particularly to young people as they are most at risk.

‘Each year, up to 800,000 victims are trafficked through international borders with millions more trafficked domestically within their own countries and it is happening far closer to home than we might like. In 2012, the UK National Referral Mechanism were made aware of 1,186 potential victims of trafficking, 372 of which were children under the age of 18,’ she said.

‘We don’t want to scare people, we just want to make them aware so that they don’t take unnecessary risks. Our aim is to provide young people with the knowledge of how to stay safe and decrease the risk of becoming a victim when travelling abroad to places that are popular tourist destinations but are rife with human trafficking such as Greece, Ibiza, Turkey and Thailand.’

Protect, which has the support of the Guernsey Border Agency and Guernsey Police, has already been into secondary schools across the island and has a number of events planned for the remainder of 2014 to continue its programme of raising awareness.

On 7th August, Protect will show the film Taken, starring Liam Neeson as a retired CIA agent. When he receives a hurried call from his 17-year-old daughter saying that she and her friend have been kidnapped by an Albanian gang of human traffickers, he travels to Paris to search for the pair.

 


‘As well as it being a highly acclaimed film, with excellent reviews, it shows just how easy it is for well-educated, well-brought up youngsters to become victims and how far parents will go to rescue the ones they love. It’s extremely powerful,’ said Mrs Jenkins.

More information about future plans will be announced in due course and Mrs Jenkins is also looking at ways Protect can further awareness outside of Guernsey.

‘We have already had interest from both Jersey and the Isle of Man as they can see enormous benefit in providing targeted information to youngsters who have had a relatively sheltered childhood within the islands and may not fully evaluate a situation until it is too late,’ she said.

‘The support we have had from so many people gives us the energy to continue but the real challenge will be to find sponsors so that we can ensure we have the resources we need to continue.’

Tickets for the showing of Taken can be booked at www.guernseytickets.gg and are also available from Beau Sejour, Candie Gardens and the Tourist Information Centre.

Anyone wanting to know more about Protect can contact Retha Jenkins on 07781 437395.

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