The SAFE Network (we have photos for this page)
The SAFE Network has changed it's name to Safe & Free
What has changed?
The project run by SAFE Network engaged with brothel owners, sex workers and their clients in Greater Manchester. The aims of the projects were to promote human rights and reduce trafficking within the commercial sex work sector. It also provided a way for these individuals to report incidences and suspicions of trafficking and CSE to SAFE within the sex industry.
SAFE Network successfully engaged numerous sex industry businesses in Greater Manchester who were committed to the aims of the project. These businesses agreed to engage with other businesses to discuss key human rights threats within the sector, learning more about how traffickers operate, how they could ensure that their businesses were not connected to traffickers and how they could help a victim of trafficking.
Businesses were encouraged to implement these human rights standards that they contributed to developing and refining, primarily:
Against human trafficking
Against forced labour
Against under-age working
Against abuse of drugs and alcohol
Promoting human rights
Promoting worker and client safety
Promoting workers health and screening
Promoting clean and safe premises
SAFE Network advised these businesses in support of their efforts to tackle trafficking and improve human rights standards and offered full assistance to victims of trafficking reported to us through The SAFE Network.
What were the results?
The SAFE Network created information flow
Information about cases of trafficking and CSE were reported to SAFE Network by sex industry participants and members of the SAFE Network. The SAFE Network provided an effective route to report concerns that would not otherwise have been shared with the police or Crimestoppers. As a result SAFE Network was able to help and rescue victims of trafficking trapped in the UK sex industry.
The Safe Network engaged those most likely to meet a victim of trafficking
To help victims of sex trafficking, you have to know all sex industry participants as they are most likely to come across victims of trafficking. SAFE Network was able to develop contacts and educate business owners and sex workers about trafficking. We influenced them to take steps to improve human rights in their business, reduce opportunities for trafficking within their spheres of influence and learn how to help a victim of trafficking and report the information to SAFE for an effective response.
SAFE Network was unable to continue to fund this work due to too much demand
The project became a victim of it's own success. We found that demand for our services outstripped our capacity. Funding was hard to come by as the project was very expensive to run. However, numerous local brothels were engaged with us and other businesses in actively improving human rights in their sector to mitigate the threats of trafficking. SAFE was able to rescue many victims of trafficking through information received from The SAFE Network. While we were having an extremely positive impact, it was difficult to secure support for such an innovative approach and ultimately the project came to an end in 2015.
Positive outcomes on a small scale were achieved
The outcomes of the project were:
brothels taking the threat of trafficking seriously
sex industry participants becoming able to spot the signs of trafficking
businesses were taking the initiative to improve human rights for sex workers and their clients
businesses and participants were reporting incidences of trafficking to SAFE
businesses were taking responsibility to prevent trafficking in their sphere of influence
The project involved more than 20 sex industry businesses and their workers in Greater Manchester.
Numerous victims of trafficking were assisted
SAFE continues to support and assist two victims of trafficking who were rescued from the UK sex industry as a result of The SAFE Network project. Both separately trafficked as minors, they are now moving forward with their lives utilising additional support from SAFE when needed, but no longer requiring intensive help resulting from PTSD and extreme trauma. More than anything else, the fact that SAFE was able to help several victims of trafficking, two in an ongoing way, is testament to the success of the project. Both these young women consider SAFE to have saved their lives.
Our future plans
Safe & Free are aiming to become a much larger and sustainable organisation, with resources and finance in place in order to recommence withe the project that got the charity off the ground initially. Once we have achieved these objectives the charity would be
SAFE would like to thank everyone who supported The SAFE Network project.