Human Trafficking Media Awards
The 18th October is now Anti-Slavery Day in the UK. The Human Trafficking Foundation wanted to get the date and the week firmly stuck in the minds and the calendars of the public, parliamentarians and the media.
There are a large number of brilliant and focused NGO’s doing great work in the campaign against human trafficking but getting the media of all types to talk about their work, the subject and make it a political issue is vital. Press releases and all the standard and obvious methods had had limited success, but human trafficking was still largely seen as being based in London, to do with foreign nations only (no votes) and far from being low hanging fruit by politicians.
I came up with the concept of an annual media awards ceremony. This strategy was aimed at motivating those who work in the media and celebrating and applauding their work in the campaign against human trafficking. We wanted to recognise them for all their (often dangerous) work and to encourage them and others to do more.
Retained by the Human Trafficking Foundation to then turn the concept into reality, I formulated the judging criteria (the most dominant of which was the IMPACT of the nomination), decided on the award categories (which focused on investigative journalism) and was a member of the Awards Committee which was outsourced to, and set up, by Anti Slavery International.
A few months later, on the 17th October 2011, the Human Trafficking Foundation held its Inaugural Media Awards Ceremony – with 7 awards presented for outstanding work in the fight against Human Trafficking.
Over 100 people were there – some victims spoke, as did the Minister for Immigration, Damian Green MP. Most importantly, representatives from all sections of the media were present.
The 2011 winners of the Human Trafficking Foundation Media Awards were:
1. Best TV or Radio drama dealing with Human Trafficking ‘Stolen’ – BBC
2. Best TV or Radio documentary dealing with Human Trafficking ‘Children of the Cannabis Trade’ – Al Jazeera Europe, produced by Mei Ling McNamara
3. Best Investigative Newspaper article dealing with Human Trafficking – Trafficking for sexual exploitation ‘Sex Trafficking trade forces women from Odessa to massage parlours in Britain’ – Mark Townsend, The Guardian
4. Best Investigative Newspaper article dealing with Human Trafficking – Domestic Slavery ‘Diplomat’s nanny lifts lid on modern slavery’ – Emily Dugan; The Independent on Sunday
5. Best Investigative Newspaper article dealing with Human Trafficking – Child Trafficking ‘Gangs import children for benefit fraud.’ Jon Ungoed-Thomas, Sunday Times
6. Best Investigative Newspaper article dealing with Human Trafficking- Forced Labour
‘They’re dying to get to Britain’ by Chris Rogers and Nadene Ghouri
7. Best Stage or Film production dealing with Human Trafficking
Joint winners: ‘Slave: A Question of Freedom’ – Feelgood Theatre Productions and ‘SOLD’
Thank you! I thought it was a tremendous event, brilliant turnout and fantastic location. And what an award, it’s massive and a real honour to have been nominated never mind win so thank you again for organising such a great initiative.
Mark Townsend, Home Affairs Editor, The Observer
It was a very enjoyable and well-organised event…
… Keep in touch.
Jonathan Ungoed-Thomas, Chief Reporter, The Sunday Times
Newspaper articles covering the awards:-
The Human Trafficking Foundation (HTF) is a UK-based charity, set up in 2010, that grew out of the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking. The Foundation was created in order to support and add value to the work of the many charities and agencies operating to combat human trafficking in the UK.
The Foundation uses its extensive network of contacts to progress anti-trafficking action in the UK. Its trustees are: Chairman Anthony Steen (former MP), Vice-Chairman Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss GBE, Vice-Chairman Rt Hon Clare Short and Treasurer Paul Jackson. The Foundation’s advisory group is made up of the largest NGOs from around the UK tackling the issue of trafficking, whilst it is also embarking on a European project to build up a network of parliamentarians across the continent to combat the problem.
Chairman Anthony Steen passed a Private Members’ Bill through Parliament in 2010 establishing 18 October as an annual opportunity to highlight the UK’s hostility to human trafficking, and in 2011 the largest programme of events to mark the day took place across the country. Prime Minister David Cameron hosted the first-ever reception at 10 Downing Street to mark Anti-Slavery Day 2011, whilst other events included the inaugural Human Trafficking Foundation Media Awards (held at the House of Lords), the installation of a giant upside down trolley in Trafalgar Square (to encourage consumers to buy sensibly) and a major event in Russell Square, with Big Issue founder John Bird as MC.
You can visit the Human Trafficking Foundation website here – a website project that I managed and for which I wrote the copy.