YCI's Film ‘Giving Hope to Survivors of Human Trafficking’ Reveals Big Impacts

Youth Career Initiatives

Giving Hope to Survivors of Human Trafficking’ – a short film by YCI’ tells the stories of survivors who are graduating from a six month training programme in hotels around the world, and are embarking on new careers and more promising futures.

Given funding by the US Department of State to work with survivors of human trafficking, YCI (the Youth Career Initiative) is a programme of the International Tourism Partnership and part of Business in the Community.

The programme operates in partner hotel companies such as Carlson Rezidor, Marriott, Starwood and IHG with support from non-profit partners who identify young people with limited socio-economic opportunities. YCI offers classroom-based and practical learning in a range of departments throughout a hotel, as well as mentoring and life-skills to around 450 students every year.

Since 2011 the US State Department funding has enabled this work to target survivors in India, Vietnam, Mexico, Ethiopia and Kenya. To date 46 survivors have graduated from YCI, with other 16 currently engaged in programmes in Delhi and Nairobi who are expected to graduate in December 2015.

Student Stories
The film features Eunice, a YCI student in Nairobi, Kenya who gave her thoughts on her experience of the programme so far.

“At last I can see my dream coming true because to some extent I had lost hope in life and actually YCI came at the right time. I can see my dreams coming true.”

She and her fellow YCI students are learning to apply their skills in real-world scenarios in various working departments of the Fairmont The Norfolk in Nairobi, and receiving classroom and skills-based training from dedicated mentors at the hotel, as well as YCI supporting partners.

Following devastating experiences at the hands of human traffickers, other graduates reveal how the programme has positively impacted their lives and given them hope for the future.

YCI Mentors
Whether General Managers or departmental staff at hotels, or representatives of YCI’s non-profit partners, mentors are on hand to provide professional and personal guidance to ensure each survivor completes the programme successfully, and has the skills and self-confidence to pursue their chosen career and life path.

Ankur Verma, Training Manager, The Westin Gurgaon & The Westin Sohna, India, spoke of his enthusiasm for this work, which is shared by his colleagues:

“That's what we love about the programme. With YCI, it's not just about providing them with training or the means to learn a job only for that six month period. It's about fostering relationships for years to come.”

Watch the short film for the full story on how YCI is helping return survivors to a brighter future in society.

About Human Trafficking
Human Trafficking - or modern day slavery - is the recruitment by threat or force of people into enforced labour and often prostitution. Every year 21 million men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers at home or abroad and are forced into situations from which it is hard to escape. 11.4 million are women and girls. Many are lured with a promise of work and taken far from their family and friends.

The hotel industry can be vulnerable to human trafficking, either from guest rooms where sexual exploitation may occur or through the unwitting use of forced labour in low paid, low skilled jobs across its supply chain.