We are working to build a world in which no-one is vulnerable to abuse, exploitation or trafficking

I started It’s a Penalty because I met 16 year old Rose, on the streets of Recife, North East of Brazil, in 2013. At that time, I was CEO of Happy Child International, an organisation I founded 25 years ago in Brazil to rescue, rehabilitate and reintegrate children in street situations. Since Rose was 11, she had been exploited on the streets. When we met during a night walk Happy Child were conducting on the streets of a marginal neighbourhood in Recife, Rose and many other  young girls were out, working and looking for clients. As we talked, Rose explained that many of their clients came from all over the world, and, although she had resigned herself to a life of abuse and exploitation, she wanted others like her to be able to escape. At the time, Brazil was the focus of international attention with the World Cup commencing, and the high influx of people attending the event meant that vulnerable children and young people like Rose would be at an even greater risk of exploitation.

I believed that the thousands gathering together could be used as a force for good, and so launched It’s a Penalty to seize the opportunity that these major events offer,utilise our global passion for sport and impact positive change.

Since 2014, we have run the It’s a Penalty Campaign during six major sporting events, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the 2016 Rio Olympics & Paralympics, and the 2018 Global Campaign at four separate events (Super Bowl LII Minneapolis, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, HBSC/Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Rugby Sevens and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games) – impacting over 960 million people worldwide.

Our vision is for a world where every child and vulnerable person, regardless of their gender, nationality, sexuality, religion or ethnicity, can be protected from abuse, exploitation and trafficking.

If we are serious about building a safer world for all, whilst giving voice to victims of these crimes, prevention needs to be at the top of the agendas of Governments, and the Private and Public sectors. By preventing these crimes, we are fulfilling part of our responsibility to protect the world’s most vulnerable from violence.

Sarah de Carvalho MBE
CEO
It’s a Penalty Campaign

LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW WE WORK

Our Board of Directors

Katherine Corich

Chair

Katherine Corich

Founder and Global CEO of Sysdoc, Katherine provides expertise in setting It’s a Penalty’s strategy and organisational development. Voted UK New Zealander in 2015, she is a global networker and engages her staff in the work of It’s a Penalty.

Ewen McAlpine

Board Member

Ewen McAlpine

Ewen works for Macaulay Search, an agency which provides executive search services for organisations with strong social, ethical or charitable objectives. He is a strong networker with a wealth of valuable contacts and introductions to provide in the Third and Commercial sectors for It’s a Penalty.

Christianne Williamson

Board Member

Christianne Williamson

Christianne is a strategic branding and communications expert who previously led a global DFID-funded campaign to end female genital mutilation. Christianne brings expertise in partnership- and resource-leveraging to the It’s a Penalty board, having worked in various international development organisations.

Philippa King

Board Member

Philippa King

Philippa has served as Director of Marketing and Fundraising and COO at global NGOs and campaigning organisations.  She brings expertise in fundraising and networking to It’s a Penalty having worked both sides of the Atlantic.

Colin McLellan

Treasurer

Colin McLellan

Colin McLellan is a Chartered Accountant who, prior to retirement, was Finance Director of MJ Gleeson Group plc.