The It’s a Penalty Campaign harnesses the power of sport to prevent the abuse, exploitation and trafficking of children globally, positioning major sporting events as platforms for positive change.

Statistics Show:

  • 40 million children worldwide experience some form of abuse each year (WHO)
  • Every year, over 2 million children are exploited into the global sex trade (UNICEF)
  • Human trafficking involves 1.2 million children each year (UNICEF)
  • 63% of child sex trafficking survivors were advertised online at some point during their trafficking situation (Thorn)
  • The huge influx of tourists and sporting fans to a country during a major sporting event increases the risk of children being abused, exploited and trafficked (University of Dundee)

We believe that prevention is even better than cure. Our ultimate goal is to eradicate child abuse, exploitation and trafficking by 2030, contributing to the elimination of modern-day slavery and the achievement of UN SDG Target 16.2 ‘to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking, torture and all forms of violence against children’.

It’s a Penalty’s Global Prevention Model

Having so far completed two campaigns around the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympics & Paralympics in Brazil, It’s a Penalty has facilitated the rescue of 16,303 victims of child sexual exploitation, and prevented thousands more children from becoming victims. Since our launch, we have reached and impacted a total of 519 million people worldwide, enabling them to play a part in building a better and safer world for children before, during, and after these major sporting events.

Alongside our Campaign work around major sporting events, we are also advocating for the global enactment and implementation of extraterritorial legislation against child exploitation, which will allow countries to prosecute their citizens for the abuse of children if the offence takes place abroad. Despite its importance, 153 countries worldwide currently lack such legislation.

Together, we are working to build a world in which no child feels vulnerable to abuse, exploitation or trafficking.