Bahamas NGO joins international anti-human trafficking effort

Bahamas NGO joins international anti-human trafficking effort
Our Sanctuary Executive Director McCall Philippe.

FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA — A local nonprofit, Our Sanctuary, has joined an international group of anti-human trafficking organizations by being named to the Global Modern Slavery Directory.

Our Sanctuary is a Bahamian nonprofit that advocates for survivors of sexual abuse, exploitation and human trafficking in The Bahamas and the region at large. The NGO is working in the communities and throughout The Bahamas to make sure sexual violence is neither tolerated nor ignored; survivors are provided the recourses needed to feel protected; as well as protecting vulnerable children and adults from sexual exploitation.

McCall Philippe, Our Sanctuary’s executive director, said the news brings tremendous validity to the work of Our Sanctuary, which advocates for and supports victims of sexual abuse and trafficking.

“We have only scratched the surface in our country when it comes to bringing awareness that sexual abuse and human trafficking are an everyday, every minute, every second occurrence in The Bahamas,” said Philippe.

“We want survivors or potential victims to have the tools to combat sexual abuse, sex trafficking and other forms of modern slavery in our islands.

“Sex trafficking is a $150 billion-a-year criminal industry. By joining the Global Directory, we make sure we are identifying and supporting survivors in our community who have freed themselves from this nightmare.

“[But] collaborating and coordinating between organizations, community leaders, business owners and government agencies is key.”

The Global Modern Slavery Directory is a publicly searchable database of over 2,900 organizations and hotlines working on human trafficking and forced labor around the world. It currently lists more than 600 organizations in the United States, and another 2,300 around the world. It is the most comprehensive database of modern slavery organizations ever compiled for the public, with more than 190 countries represented.

The directory is managed by Polaris, based in Washington, DC. Being a member of such a directory will allow Our Sanctuary to collaborate with anti-human trafficking agencies internationally to better connect victims of trafficking and at-risk persons to the help they need, Philippe said.

The Global Directory can and is expected to be accessed and utilized by members of the public worldwide.