At the time of writing, 7 years since our establishment, Arise has reached 217,023 people directly with holistic programs to build their resilience to trafficking.
This impact has taken root through an expansive frontline network of frontline groups and 185 frontline-led projects. Notably, in the last year, 58,878 of these people were reached. This constitutes 28% of our all-time impact.
See the photos below to discover what 2023 looked like for Arise!
Under the excellent leadership of Sr Sherly Thomas, our India network has continued to grow and deliver effective anti-slavery programs in high-risk areas across the country. We’ve delivered thousands of hours of network and capacity building across India, this year focusing on safeguarding, reporting, legal awareness and research.
A key part of prevention is informing communities, particularly young, would-be emigrants, of the external threats they face. However, this is only the beginning — enabling viable income channels is essential. To this end, we provide skills training for tailors, weavers, shoemakers and small business owners, and sponsor agricultural training sessions and community investment in livestock and farm equipment. We value education as an essential ingredient for reducing inequality. In every project in India, we focus on facilitating and sustaining the education of children.
Read our recent Gauri Migrant Project report as an example of how we bolster resilience to exploitation.
Arise established in Nigeria in early 2021. After two years of preparation, including extensive frontline capacity building, we launched a portfolio of 17 direct anti-trafficking projects in January 2023. These are led and implemented by local groups, including 15 congregations of sisters in 12 states of Nigeria.
In 2023, these projects have provided awareness, education and income to 12,225 high-risk individuals and survivors of human trafficking. As a result of the sisters’ growing reach, Nigeria’s national anti-trafficking agency, NAPTIP, has begun including them in policy talks and campaigns.
See the impact map below, illustrating the distribution of the projects.
At this very moment, there are tens of thousands of Filipino children being exploited for sex or labour. And despite growing investment in anti-trafficking work, these numbers continue to rise.
In the last year, our work in the Philippines has focused on 1) strengthening existing networks of frontline actors, including religious leaders, government bodies, police forces, businesses, and journalists (see the video below); 2) resourcing the anti-trafficking projects of frontline groups in high-risk regions, particularly in their prevention of child sexual exploitation and labour trafficking; and 3) developing a training program for and working with local Knights of Columbus councils to strengthen community-level awareness and action against human trafficking.
With a large proportion of online child sexual exploitation taking place within the household, community buy-in and participation is a key objective of our projects in the Philippines.
Watch the video below, detailing our network-building strategy across the country:
We have maintained a busy presence in Albania since establishing our office in early 2022. Arise now holds the secretariat for the URAT (United Response Against Trafficking) network, coordinating intelligence sharing and strategy formation across the anti-trafficking frontline. Arise works in partnership with these frontline organisations, helping build up capacity through training and resourcing. In 2023, these projects have provided awareness, education and income over 6,000 individuals at risk of trafficking in 2023.
Arise has also been actively campaigning, amplifying concerns from the frontline about the treatment and rhetoric surrounding Albanian arrivals, who are at high risk of exploitation, and who were having anti-slavery protections removed as part of the Illegal Migration Act. We are hoping 2024 brings clarity, pragmatism, and honesty to the ongoing debates about migration and the risks of exploitation for migrants.
Watch the campaign video from earlier this year for a reminder:
And lastly... the 2023 SATAs
Theresa May MP and Sir Mo Farah drew global attention to the exceptional contribution of Catholic sisters to the anti-trafficking movement, at the inaugural Sisters Anti-Trafficking Awards on the 31st of October in London.
MC’d by broadcaster, journalist and writer, Adrian Chiles, the event honoured three sisters, Sr Seli Thomas SMI from India, Sr Patricia Ebegbulem SSL from Nigeria and Sr Francoise Jiranonda SPC from Thailand. Co-hosted by Arise, UISG and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the SATAs brought together an audience of 200 people from across and beyond the anti-slavery and Catholic spheres.
Watch the below for a reminder: