Human trafficking is the exploitation of people through forced labor or sexual exploitation by means of force, fraud, or coercion. It is modern-day slavery. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates more than 24 million people worldwide are trafficked and exploited, with one in four victims under the age of 18.
It’s a Penalty’s goal is to prevent human trafficking and exploitation on a global scale, believing that prevention is better than the cure. IAP executes campaigns around major sporting events, including next weekend’s big game, to educate sports fans and the general public on what human trafficking is, the signs to look out for, the penalties for offenders, and how to take action and report any suspected cases. Due to an influx of visitors, large events can lead to increased instances of human trafficking. IAP harnesses the power of sport to raise awareness and protect potential victims.
In order to prevent human trafficking from taking place, wide-scale, cross-industry collaboration is key. During each campaign, IAP works with a variety of partners to maximize impact. We collaborate with the travel and tourism industry, including airlines, airports, hotels, and rideshare companies, as well as the sports industry, law enforcement, and local non-governmental organizations to reach people as they travel to and move around the host city.
It is because of collaboration with these different groups that IAP has been able to have such a phenomenal impact, with an average reach of 180 million people worldwide per campaign. Together with our partners, IAP has helped to protect nearly 17,000 survivors of exploitation and trafficking since 2014. It’s a Penalty’s partnership with Southwest Airlines is an example of a fantastic joining of forces in order to make change happen.
This year, in the lead up to the big game and events in Tampa, IAP is partnering with Southwest to raise awareness about human trafficking to passengers traveling to and from Tampa. “We are delighted to partner with Southwest Airlines, shared Sarah de Carvalho MBE, CEO of It’s a Penalty. “We commend their commitment to joining the It’s a Penalty Campaign in Tampa to help to end human trafficking and exploitation. It is only by working together that we can make a difference!”
The 2021 It’s a Penalty campaign is our ninth campaign during a major sporting event. We are proudly supported by high-profile NFL players who lend their voices to help raise awareness via a 30-second campaign video.
If anyone suspects they’ve encountered a case of human trafficking during their travels, or if you see a combination of the signs of exploitation, we encourage you to call 211 in Tampa for immediate help; send an anonymous tip by texting CTYTIP to 847411; or call the Polaris National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 to make a report. For more information about It’s a Penalty, please visit www.itsapenalty.org, or follow us on social media (@its_apenalty) for updates about the Tampa campaign!