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Malave Fellows campaign agains human trafficking — Red Card Project

April 26, 2010 | General


A team of Malave Fellows are working on a campaign to fight human trafficking, and have launched The Red Card Project Website:

About the Red Card Project

The goal of this project is mobilize students around the world to stage a powerful and striking campaign against the trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation during the international sporting events.

The goals of this project are two-fold. Primarily, we seek to stage a strong campaign of public awareness against the trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation. Secondly, this campaign will empower students, educate them on the issue of human trafficking, and develop their skills as youth activists. The red cards that will be distributed will remind game goers that trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation, or the support of such actions, is legally, morally and ethically wrong – an act punishable by law. Furthermore, the red card will have many functions and will serve to be indispensible to game attendees.

Our aim is for the usefulness of the card to further promote our message. The card will be used by participants throughout the games to constructively voice to the referees when they feel that a red or a yellow card should be given to a player.  In addition, by having the schedule of the games printed on the back, attendees can keep the card as an easy pocket size guide to the games. In this way, the red card will serve as a continuous reminder of the human trafficking issue.

Human Trafficking Facts

It is difficult to measure the exact trafficking numbers during sporting events. Nonetheless, for a country already affected by trafficking and whose legislators have even discussed the decriminalization of prostitution specifically for the games, deterrence and awareness campaigns are needed to stop traffickers in their tracks and prevent attendees from falling prey to their temptations.

The dynamics for human trafficking to sporting events are two-fold: “the international sporting events may affect human trafficking in the host country: (1) contributing to a short-term increase in demand for prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation in, and around, the locale of the event; and (2) facilitating entry of trafficked persons as “visitors” before they are transited to other cities or countries and exploited there.” (Faster, Higher, and Stronger: Preventing Human Trafficking at the 2010 Olympics, The Future Group, November 2007).

Focusing our attention on the 2010 FIFA World Cup Games in South Africa is of the utmost importance and timeliness. According to the United States State Department of Trafficking in Person’s Report from June of 2008, “South Africa is a source, transit and destination country for trafficked men, women and children.” U.S. ambassador Luis CdeBaca also recently warned of an increase in human trafficking and prostitution in South Africa during the games and expressed his concern over police policies of focusing more on prostitution rather than trafficking itself.

The preponderance of street children in many parts of South Africa is at great risk of becoming the target victims of sexual exploitation during the 2010 World Cup. According to the Sun News from an August 19th report, “street children in South Africa are being lured and prepared for prostitution for World Cup 2010.” A rise in HIV/AIDS and STD levels is of a great concern as well. While the current levels of HIV/AIDS infection in South Africa have stabilized and are low in comparison to other countries, without preventative measures in place, both in addressing sexual exploitation and relating it HIV/AIDS and STDs, the dynamics of this issue can change in a negative direction.

Throughout the one month of the World Cup, we will run the Red Card to the Trafficking of Women and Children for Sexual Exploitation program as an effective preventative measure to combat trafficking during the games. The card will serve its purpose as well as be attractive and useful to fans. The front of the card will be red to symbolize the red cards given to players who severely violate the rules of the game and are disqualified from further participation. The simple message “Red card to the Trafficking of Women and Children for Sexual Exploitation,” written in both English and French, will send a strikingly clear message to the attendees. The back will be yellow, which, as in football terms, will stand as a warning to game attendees, traffickers and players alike.  Sponsors of the Red Cards initiative will have their logos printed on the front of the card, and a small version of the match schedule will be printed on the back.

To learn more, to join the effort, or to contribute please visit:

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