Stop The Traffik are holding educational seminars in the South East to raise awareness on human trafficking.
The news comes after a report from the Salvation Army identified the South East as the worst place in the UK for human traffiking.
The events are being held in the same month that Matt Redman and LZ7's anti traffiking song 27 Million reached number 12 in the UK singles chart.
Stop the Traffik and The South East Strategic Partnership for Migration (SESPM) are working together to deliver training seminars in Hampshire, Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Thames Valley.
Yesterday's event at Southampton University highlighted the issue to students in three workshops looking at what human trafficking is, how it affects local communities, and how students can work with their communities to tackle it.
Through an interactive quiz, discussions and videos the group was taught by that "awareness without action is pointless" by Stop the Traffik UK Director Simon Chorley.
Bex Keer from Stop the Traffik believes such events are key in helping people from a variety of backgrounds think about what they can do to end human trafficking.
"When we have those events, different people come along and say 'what's my sphere of influence and how do I look at traffiking within that sphere?'"
Bex gives the example of public service professionals who are often well placed to spot traffiking. "Fire services will often go into people's homes to test fire alarms. Because they are entering people's homes they have an opportunity to see things that happen behind closed doors. What happens if they see something that they are concerned about?"
"It doesn't matter if you're a pizza delivery guy or an MP. Who's the eyes and ears in our community? We want to help those people understand the indicators of traffiking and respond to that."
Bex says student groups like the ACT group at Southampton University have been key in raising awareness. "We've got one university that are creating vending machines that have manakins in there with a sign on it that says 'for sale' and literature around it that says what trafficking is."
"We have story after story where someone within the community has recognised a victim and responded to it. We all have that repsonsibility because it might be happening in the house next door. But you can't do something you know nothing about so it's about building everyone's understanding."
March 8th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Sam Hailes