Dec 18, 2010
The U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons have signed an agreement with IBLF to help support the rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking. The agreement supports a pilot project that will adapt the Youth Career Initiative (YCI) model - a programme of IBLF - to integrate trafficked survivors (those who have been held in compelled service) into the regular mix of YCI participants.
YCI is a six-month education programme that provides disadvantaged young people with life and work skills through a combination of classroom-based and practical instruction. Thanks to a unique partnership model with the international hotel industry, students gain relevant work skills in at least 15 areas of full-service hotels, covering both operational and administrative departments.
It is expected that at least 13 hotels will take part in this project
across three pilot countries: 8 in Brazil, 1 in Vietnam and 4 in Mexico. The pilot project will build on YCI’s existing model with a goal to transform the lives of trafficked victims and those at risk of exploitation and ensure they have the skills and confidence to enter the formal job market. It will also provide one-to-one mentoring support both throughout the training and for up to six months post graduation. Further objectives include building the capacity of NGO partners and HR managers in the hotels and extracting the lessons with a view to replicating the model elsewhere.
The U. S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
, directed by Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State and Ambassador-at-large Luis CdeBaca, leads the United States' global engagement against human trafficking. Through partnering with foreign governments and international and civil society, they develop and implement strategies for confronting modern forms of slavery and have supported more than 450 projects in 109 countries over the past nine years.
Of this pilot project with YCI, Ambassador Luis CdeBaca said:
"As anyone who has worked with victims can tell you, in their courage to survive and forge their freedom, lies an ethic and capacity for excellence. The more corporations realize this, the more we can move from pockets of charity to the business of opportunity for all survivors of trafficking.
As a long-term supporter of YCI, Marriott International suggested the programme to The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons as a means to help victims of trafficking in their road to recovery. Mari Snyder, Vice President Social Responsibility, Marriott International said: “Our hotel managers and staff at participating properties in nine countries serve as mentors and real-world teachers for YCI students. Through YCI, we have been able to offer vulnerable young people better opportunities and we have seen lives transformed. For us, it was a natural extension to expand the program to include victims of trafficking.”
YCI already makes a material difference to the life chances of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Participants will be aged between 18 and 21 years old, in accordance with the criteria already in place for YCI, and will have undergone some rehabilitation therapy with a local specialist agency.
IBLF is confident in the capacity of YCI to help trafficked survivors, having conducted a very small-scale pilot in Mexico City in 2009. Daniel Sánchez Malo, Training and Development Manager of W Mexico City Hotel (part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts) offered: “We were keen to receive candidates who had experienced very challenging life circumstances. We had some from a shelter for children, and adolescents who had been victims of different kinds of abuse and neglect. As soon as they began the YCI training, those girls really cherished the opportunity they were given and demonstrated a desire to learn as much as they could. We were so impressed by their commitment and performance that we ended up hiring them and they are still proudly part of our team.”
Based on a recommended number of 10 participants per hotel, it is expected that a total of 130 at-risk young people will be trained through the programme across the three pilot countries identified for this project. About 20% of these beneficiaries will be survivors of trafficking, whom we intend to support by helping them reintegrate into society and move towards a dignified and productive life. It is anticipated that this pilot project will commence in late 2010, with an expected completion date of May 2013, at which point IBLF will submit a final report to the U.S. State Department based on its evaluation of the pilot.
For more information, please contact: Alberto Canovas, Programme Manager, Youth Career Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 207 467 3643