Paris 2024: A Beacon of Hope in the Fight Against Human Trafficking

The world’s gaze turns to Paris this summer for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics. But beyond the athletic spectacle, It’s a Penalty is launching a crucial campaign to raise awareness about a hidden darkness: human trafficking in France and globally

This week, It’s a Penalty has launched our latest campaign, an industry coalition to help fight human trafficking. Alongside the headline partner, and main partner Accor, IHG Hotels & Resorts, British Airways, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, jetBlue, Sysdoc, Le Collectif ‘Ensemble Contre La Traite Des Êtres Humains’, Border Force, Stop the Traffik are joining us to raise awareness and prevent exploitation from taking place.  

Shocking statistics reveal a grim reality – an estimated  50 million people are trapped in modern day slavery today (ILO) and in France 67% of all human trafficking victims are women. These numbers are largely unknown by the French public. This lack of awareness allows human trafficking to fester in the shadows, robbing countless individuals of their freedom and dignity. 

Paris 2024 presents a unique opportunity. We will leverage the Games’ global platform to shine a spotlight on this human rights crisis. Through impactful initiatives, we will:

    • Educate the public: We’ll raise awareness about the signs of human trafficking and empower communities to recognize and report it.
    • Partner with local organizations: Working alongside NGOs and key players within the travel and hospitality industries allows us to reach a massive audience at travel touchpoints – airports, accommodation, transportation hubs.
    • Leverage the power of sport: High-profile athletes will star in a campaign video, reaching a global audience and fostering a spirit of collective action.

Our campaign during the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics will focus on key touchpoints for travelers to and from Paris:

  • Partnering with airlines to showcase our 30-second film on flights from July to September 2024, including Emirates, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand, Ethiopian Airlines, and JetBlue.
  • Displaying our campaign posters at London Gatwick airport, Heathrow Express, and UK Border Force at Paris Gare du Nord, St Pancras International, Lille and Brussels train stations, and at Celebration sites in Paris (Seine Saint Denis and Plaine Commune) and Marseille. 
  • Collaborating with the hospitality industry across France to distribute campaign materials and videos to guests and employees at Accor,, and IHG Hotels & Resorts properties.
  • Conducting an extensive national and global campaign to raise awareness and provide crucial information about human trafficking and exploitation in order to prevent it.

To mark the launch of the campaign, we were delighted to host a press launch event on Tuesday 9th July in collaboration with our partner Accor at their Mercure Centre Tour Eiffel hotel in Paris. 

Keynote speakers at the launch included representatives from the Paris 2024 Organising Committee, Accor, Sysdoc, Le Collectif ‘Ensemble Contre La Traite Des Êtres Humains’, and, as well as a video message from our Ambassador Paralympic Champion Michaël Jérémiasz. The event also included a panel on the Travel and Tourism industry combatting human trafficking, moderated by, with panelists from Accor, JetBlue and UK Border Force.

Together, we can make a difference. Paris 2024 can be a catalyst for change, showcasing France’s commitment to human rights and social justice. By joining forces with It’s a Penalty, France can take a powerful stand against human trafficking, sending a resounding message of hope to victims and a clear warning to perpetrators.

Let the Games begin! But let them also be a beacon of freedom, illuminating the path towards a world free from human trafficking.

Written by Sarah de Carvalho

CEO, It’s a Penalty