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Violence against children is committed every day, in every corner of the world. Abuse, exploitation and trafficking is a global, and often hidden, issue. We believe that something must be done to protect all children and vulnerable people from suffering from violence, and that prevention is even better than a cure. Our ultimate goal is to eradicate 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’.
- Throughout our three completed campaigns covering six major sporting events globally, It’s a Penalty, together with our partners, have facilitated the protection and rescue of 16,303 victims of exploitation, and prevented thousands more from becoming victims.
- Since our launch, we have reached and impacted a total of 969 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.
- In order to educate and equip people all over the world, enabling them to protect children and vulnerable people on a global scale, we have produced a first-of-its-kind Map with information on how to report a crime of abuse, exploitation or trafficking in every country: www.itsapenalty.org/makeareport.
- We encourage worldwide collaboration in contributing to the elimination of modern-day slavery and eradication of these forms of violence against children. To achieve these goals, It’s a Penalty brings together the biggest names in sport, governing sporting bodies (e.g. the IOC, World Rugby & CGF), international airlines, hotels, governments, law enforcers, tourism & transport services, corporations, international NGOs and members of the public.
- To disrupt the global cycle of abuse, exploitation and trafficking, we strive for systematic change – our Research & Advocacy project, in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat, aims to improve anti-child sexual exploitation legislation within Commonwealth states (currently only 6/52 have such crucial legislation in place).
As a baby, Ana was given away by her mother to a woman who owned a brothel. From the age of just 10 years old, Ana was forced to sell herself. Unable to cope anymore with being abused and exploited, Ana ran away from the brothel when she reached 11 years old. For two whole years, Ana lived on the streets until she was rescued by a partner organisation working on-the-ground. By the time of her rescue, Ana was 13 years old and pregnant.
Because of the educational campaign of It’s a Penalty, the woman who had facilitated Ana’s exploitation was reported to authorities, and is now serving time for her offences against Ana. With her exploiter behind bars, Ana and her newborn baby, Lorena, are now safe and secure.
From just 5 years old, Samuel was trafficked and sexually exploited by a group of men, who he had been introduced to by his sexually-abusive step-father. For seven years, Samuel was living in a never-ending nightmare. Often, he would be pulled out of school so that these men could abuse him. Many of the signs of child sexual exploitation and abuse were present – Samuel suffered from many unexplained physical injuries and lengthy illnesses – but no-one noticed what was happening to him.
Samuel had tried to tell many people that he was being abused, exploited and trafficked over the course of these seven years, but no-one neither helped nor believed him. By 12 years old, Samuel had lost all hope and he attempted suicide. He was rescued from his nightmare when hospital staff recognised the signs that he had been abused, and believed him when they heard his story.
It’s a Penalty educates about the global issues of child abuse, exploitation and trafficking, and what the signs are to look out for, in order to enable the rescue and protection of children like Samuel. We also strive for systematic change in order to prevent crimes such as those committed against Samuel from ever happening; we believe that prevention is even better than cure.
At 11 years old, Rose was sent out to beg for money because there was no food at home. Alone on the streets, Rose fell victim to unscrupulous people who exploited her to make money.
By the age of 16, she had already given birth to two babies – both of whom she had been made to give to her mother to look after. Locked in an endless cycle, Rose’s sense of self-worth and hope for escape decayed. When our founder and CEO, Sarah de Carvalho, met her, Rose had resigned herself to a life of abuse and exploitation, but she wanted others like her to be able to escape.
To us, Rose represents the hundreds and thousands of other children in the same predicament – unable to escape a cycle of abuse, exploitation and trafficking. It’s a Penalty leads a global movement to disrupt this cycle and build a world where no child is vulnerable to these heinous forms of violence.
* names have been changed to protect the victims.
Your donation is invaluable to us, as well as to the hundreds and thousands of children and vulnerable people like Ana, Samuel and Rose around the world.
By donating, you enable us to continue to protect victims of abuse, exploitation and trafficking, as well as prevent many more from ever becoming victims in the first place.