When the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons was published in 2009, The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOCD) stated:
“This Report increases our understanding of modern slave markets, yet it also exposes our ignorance.” […] “We have a big picture, but it is impressionistic and lacks depth. We fear the problem is getting worse, but we can not prove it for lack of data, and many governments are obstructing”, he [The head of UNODC] admitted. The head of UNODC therefore called on governments and social scientists to improve information-gathering and -sharing on human trafficking. “If we do not overcome this knowledge crisis we will be fighting the problem blindfolded”, he warned.
HopeNow believes strongly that knowledge and debate are incredibly important factors in the fight against human trafficking and in improving the lives of victims of trafficking. Consequently, we engage in numerous activities each year, locally, nationally and internationally, in order to share, disseminate and gain more knowledge about the social, socio-cultural, geographical, legal, economic and political aspects of human trafficking. Indeed, HopeNow is recognised nationally and internationally as a knowledge pool and for its ability and willingness to share knowledge via different forms of media, by giving presentations and participating in conferences, meetings etc., and through written forms of communication.
Every year the Founder and Director of HopeNow, Michelle Mildwater is invited to take part in radio and television interviews in Denmark. Most recently Michelle was interviewed by the Danish public radio channel P1 and other stations such as Radio24syv.
HopeNow has been involved in the making of several documentary films on different aspects of human trafficking, primarily together with film maker Anja Dalhoff (see Danish Doc Production).
This year, 2017, Trafficker was released and has won three awards (Best Documentary at the 4th Nodia International Film Festival and the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival in India; Winner of the Award of Excellence at The International Film Festival for Family, Against Drug Abuse & Trafficking). HopeNow worked together with Anja Dalhoff to produce the film which is about the trafficking of women from Nigeria and Kenya, and contains unique footage with interviews and statements from madams and traffickers themselves.
Earlier in 2017, Anja’s documentary film, Dancing with Monica, was screened at Cinemateket in Copenhagen. It is a story about the underlying factors that play a role in the situation trafficked women face. Monica, who HopeNow has been working with pre-, during and now post-production, recorded much of the footage herself. See the trailer here:
Other documentary films HopeNow has been an instrumental part in the making of include Når Månen er Sort (When the Moon is Dark), which is about the work HopeNow is engaged in and exposes some truths about the trafficking in human beings from Africa to Europe. The international version of the film is called Trapped, and it was shown on CNN in 2008 in a program called World’s Untold Stories here (unfortunately the videos are no longer accessible but you can read a blog by Anja Dalhoff on CNN’s website ).
In 2009, UNODC’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Unit together with Danish Doc Production produced an anti-human trafficking training film, Affected for Life. The film is targeted at prosecutors, judges, law enforcement officers and other specialized audiences, and illustrates the elements and different forms of human trafficking. HopeNow worked together with Anja Dalhoff in the making of the short film.
Other titles that HopeNow has been involved in with Danish Doc Production are Kidney on Ice and A Life After Trafficking, and in 2018 HopeNow and Danish Doc premiered a film entitled Limbo, about men trafficked into organised crime.
PRESENTATIONS & PARTICIPATION
Every year representatives of HopeNow, staff and volunteers, present the work that we do and engage in conversations about the successes, the challenges and the dilemas we face in our work. We do this by giving lectures and seminars at educational institutes, by giving talks and presentations to groups who contact us and express interest in the work we are doing, by attending and speaking at fundraisers, and in regular meetings with our partner institutions – virtually and face-to-face, at home and abroad. We also participate in conferences, seminars and training activities organised by experts in the field.
Since 2007, HopeNow has held talks and workshops at CMM (Center Against Human Trafficking) and for other partners, at evening schools, at high schools, at Metropol (Metropolitan University College), Dannerhuset (a crisis center in Copenhagen for women and children), and the University of Aarhus among others. We have also held lectures in Athens, Munich and Bangkok together with actors like Transparency International on corruption and human trafficking
Some of our most recent activities have included:
- Speaking at a fundraiser organised by Elisabeth Berg and Faaborgegnens Efterskole (Faaborg residential high school)
- A roundtable between key HopeNow staff and a delegation from the Equality Commission from the Danish Parliament discussing the work and challenges that HopeNow deals with.
- Attendance at the international conference Displacing Sex for Sale, held at Aalborg University Copenhagen Campus where HopeNow’s Founder and Director, Michelle Mildwater, and Project Manager, Matilde Skov Danstrøm, met a great number of researchers and practitioners. Michelle and Matilde learned a lot about new areas such as webscraping and how it is used in research on prostitution/trafficking.
- Participation in live-simulation training course organised by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Combating Human Trafficking along Migration Routes. Around 200 practitioners from around the world who work in law enforcement, the judiciary, labour inspection, public social services, civil society organisations and the media participated at the training facilities of CoESPU in Vincenza, Italy. The aim of the training was to enhance the participants’ capacity to effectively investigate and prosecute trafficking in human beings (THB) as well as to promptly identify THB victims along migration routes by promoting a multi-agency and human-rights based approach.
In the future, we plan to participate more actively in sharing knowledge within academia by writing working papers and participating in more conferences. We also plan to contribute to sharing knowledge with the general public via different online and print media and information outlets.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you and/or your organisation would like to hear more about human trafficking and the work that HopeNow is doing.