Display highlights human trafficking risks

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Human Trafficking initiative. Pic © JMU Journalism

Human trafficking awareness initiative. Pic © JMU Journalism

An initiative to help raise awareness of human trafficking has come to Liverpool.

The display, which has been set up by the United Nations in conjunction with Merseyside Police, opened in Church Street in Monday and will stay for two weeks.

The aim is to inform the public of the rise in human trafficking, not just around the world but here within the UK.

Jessica Liu, a researcher at LJMU in child trafficking and facial recognition, was present at the display, which consists of a giant yellow gift-box that opens out to reveal stories of victims of trafficking.

She told JMU Journalism: “These gift boxes have been installed all over the world by the United Nations. They come in four different colours to symbolise different types of trafficking, such as yellow which represents sexual trafficking.”

The concept behind the gift box is that for victims, trafficking often begins with the promise of love and good fortune, however when you step inside the box, its jail-like design replicates how difficult it is for victims to escape.

YouTube: Cameron Trimble

Jessica said: “On the walls, there are stories of real people who have been trafficked within the UK. It’s not just people all over the world, we have actually seen a phenomenal rise of people who are trafficked within the UK. Children here are being trafficked by people here.”

The victims’ stories highlight how trafficking is much more common than people think and that it can happen to anyone, with one young British girl being trafficked by her own boyfriend.

On Saturday a ‘freedom walk’ will also take place in Liverpool to raise awareness of modern day slavery and human trafficking. It will begin at 12 noon at the International Slavery Museum on the Albert Dock and will consist of participants wearing all black whilst walking through Liverpool in silence.

The UN gift box initiative will be available to view on Church Street until Friday 21st October and you can register for the freedom walk at www.a21.org/liverpool.

About Amber Roberts, JMU Journalism