In the Media
Youth Underground’s role is to provide the youth with a framework, but to give them a free hand to express their thoughts and ideas in their own words, in their own way, to their own audiences. And while our objective is education and awareness-raising about human trafficking in a manner that the youth in particular can understand, it is also intended for all ages to share information about this illicit trade, to underline tolerance and respect, and to highlight the value of a human life.
One of our principal modus operandi is to work in partnership with different organizations, audiences and regions, on an ongoing basis, ensuring their ownership of our various programs.
Click on titles and text in bold to access pages:
International Baccalaureate Middle Years Graduation Ceremony – Guest Speaker
On 26 June 2019, our Founder was invited as a Guest Speaker at the 11th grade graduation ceremony, Campus des Nations. In addition to talking about human trafficking and sharing some personal advice, Rasha emphasized the importance of education and youth empowerment, addressing the graduating students directly: “You are living in an era of technology, and the world is much smaller. You can contact anyone, and anyone can contact you. Knowing about human trafficking is not to scare you. It’s to empower you with the knowledge you need to take the right action. The more knowledge you have, the more and better choices you will always be able to make.”
Radio Sans Chaine
Featuring in a Geneva-based podcast whose mission is “giving a voice to those who don’t have one.” An opportunity to talk about human trafficking in Switzerland.
Interview with Rasha, Mélissa and Patrice on February 6, 2019.
CNN Freedom Project – My Freedom Day 2019
Collaboration with the CNN Freedom Project for #MyFreedomDay, a day-long student-driven event on March 14, to raise awareness about modern slavery. The theme this year was, “What makes me feel free?” The students of the International School of Geneva (La Châtaigneraie) created a short film for this day. CNN has recognized Youth Underground as among the go to Global Anti-Trafficking Organizations.
Featuring Diya, Hazel, Jordan, Lorcan, Nicolas, Nina and Rebecca.
Hands of Justice – #IgniteFreedom
January is human trafficking awareness month in the United States. To commemorate this month, we partnered with US-based NGO, Hands of Justice, for a worldwide 24-hour social media photo campaign entitled #IgniteFreedom on January 15, 2019. To participate, persons of all ages had to write – on any part of their body – ONE WORD that came to their minds when hearing about “human trafficking.” This was our first #IgniteFreedom campaign, with awesome feedback and interaction throughout the day we had not foreseen! We will be organizing our 2nd campaign in 2020! Stay tuned.
Jerome Elam – A Survivor’s Testimony
We were privileged to have Jerome Elam, CEO of the Trafficking in America Task Force (TIATF), Marine Corps Veteran, Writer & Columnist for Communities Digital News (CDN), and Special Advisor to the Utah Attorney General, spend a week in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 19-22, 2018. We are proud to count the TIATF as our partner, although its CEO, Jerome, came for a very different reason – to share his experience as a child sex trafficking survivor with various schools. This was extremely important for us from an educational perspective. Jerome was able to share his story to teenage students, who had insufficient time to ask all the questions they had! Jerome’s presence was important for the youth to be able to put a face on human trafficking. From our point of view, it was informative to get a pulse of what matters to the youth.
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) for Eagle-Eye Cherry Concert
We were extremely privileged to co-host a unique Eagle-Eye Cherry “Streets of You” World Tour concert in partnership with MSF. The awesome Eagle-Eye Cherry released a new album and organized his first world tour in seven years, gracing the Pickwick’s Pub stage for a night of pure pleasure on October 20, 2018 – his only concert in Switzerland. Funds went directly to Youth Underground and MSF’s children-related projects.
An interview on One FM radio station about the Eagle-Eye Cherry event.
Supporting Sebastian Rich – “A photographer of war and occasionally peace.”
Sebastian Rich: “We photographers are nothing but a pack of crooks, thieves and voyeurs. We are to be found everywhere we are not wanted ~ We betray secrets that were never entrusted to us, we spy shamelessly on things that are not our business ~ And end up the hoarders of a vast quantity of stolen goods.”
Best friends through it all, Paul and John (not their real names), both twelve years old, served as child soldiers together in the same unit. Somehow they survived to be given the chance to be children again. Along with Paul and John on April 17, 2018, in a jungle clearing in Yambio, South Sudan, 200 children were also released from armed groups. The children formally disarmed and handed over their uniforms. Across the country in 2018, there were still around 19,000 children serving in the ranks of armed forces and groups. UNICEF South Sudan is supporting the release of children back to their communities by reuniting children with their families, supporting interim care centers where children receive psychosocial support, education and vocational training.
Collaboration to ensure the prevention of the trafficking of children and vulnerable groups through awareness-raising and educational material, toolkits and messages – to help the youth escape trafficking, early and forced marriages, and HIV. While the focus of our work is essentially in the most under-served communities in the North West Region of Cameroon (Bamenda), our partnership expands to the country as a whole.
Muhammed, Fakinwa and Etali (Founder & CEO of SUSTAIN Cameroon).
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2018: Youth Voices on Public Transportation
On July 18, 2018, we joined hands with Swiss partners for a photo campaign on a total of 50 public transportation (TPG) vehicles. The two-week campaign, leading up to World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30, featured youth of all ages voicing their opinion about human trafficking. Our main objective was to highlight the fact that there is no age limit to education. The youth are not only well aware about events happening in our world today, but also have their own opinion about these issues. We need to take a step back, listen and learn.
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Study Day 2018 – Foundation of the International School of Geneva
Presentation given by Youth Underground’s CEO as Keynote Speaker to the Foundation’s 11th graders. The theme covered was: “Is Human Trafficking Really Our Problem?” Whether or not one knows what human trafficking is, it is safe to say that it is often equated to an issue happening in low-income communities, well beyond our reach – happening “over there”. A “woman’s issue” that involves exploitation but not one that we, the general public, should be concerned about. These misconceptions place this severe violation of human rights on a shelf, in a closed box, that is “not our problem”. In our increasingly interconnected world, ending human trafficking and exploitation is everybody’s business. We can do something about it by acknowledging that this is a human rights issue – not a gender issue – that touches us all, either directly or indirectly. The subject falls under SDG8 which was discussed throughout the presentation: Employment, decent work for all and social protection.
The Trafficking Dispatch
Run by a young group of student podcasters, The Trafficking Dispatch focuses on educating and empowering young people to help put an end to human trafficking. Our partnership included their sharing and publishing information about Youth Underground every two weeks, towards the end of each podcast, during a period of six months. In return, we have a page on our website with the series themselves, and have shared these podcasts on our social media. The idea was to test the response. We are extremely happy to continue our collaboration in various projects, outside the podcasting world!
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Institut International de Lancy – former Pensionnat Marie-Thérèse
Interactive presentation about human trafficking to senior school students, covering the relationship between this illicit trade and such areas as the migrant and refugee crisis, climate change, social media and overall human rights. Education goes a long way – and we are very proud to be the first organization to partner with IIL to introduce the topic of Human Trafficking into the their school curriculum this year, as part Geography.
Pike House Coffee – “coffee with a cause!”
Collaboration by promoting fair trade products (food and clothes) to raise awareness and educate teenagers in Knoxville, Tennessee, about human trafficking in particular, and human rights in general. Peer-to-peer action is encouraged through Youth Underground photo exhibitions, individual stills and videos, and the sales of fair trade T-shirts – all organized by teenagers on-the-ground, in Tennessee.
Study Day 2017 – Foundation of the International School of Geneva
Presentation given by Youth Underground’s CEO as Keynote Speaker to the Foundation’s 11th graders. The theme covered was: “Human trafficking: Why should you care?” The session was interactive and challenged students to resolve current affair issues. After a brief introduction to some major ethical theories, students formed teams to investigate human trafficking questions involving choices with no obvious solutions.
Featured on Freedom Fortnight’s website to launch a two-week initiative celebrating progress made by an Organization. Youth Underground by Freedom Fortnight quoted as being among the “four fantastic anti-trafficking organizations.”
CNN Freedom Project – My Freedom Day 2017
Partnership with the CNN Freedom Project for #MyFreedomDay to highlight the value of freedom by the youth and celebrate those who have it. Included sharing Youth Underground videos, photos and information on CNN’s website and social media networks. The lead-up was an event on March 14, 2017, at the International School of Geneva, with a student panel and a Q&A with the audience. Youth Underground was covered by CNN and featured throughout My Freedom Day.
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Partnership to highlight the value of a human life, inclusion and the importance of connecting with different organizations/groups under the heading, “What Makes Us Human?”
Middle East & North Africa
Article about the CEO and what Youth Underground is doing about human trafficking; as well as challenges in various regions of the world including the Middle East.
Partnered as Executive Producer of the film in the making, “Heart of the Matter” about refugee and migrant children in Europe. First phase was a trip to Calais refugee camp (the “Jungle”), France, before its dismantlement – with the production of a trailer. Youth Underground was featured as the voice of the youth, with refugee and migrant youth in the camp wearing our fair trade T-shirts as a call to action.
The Worldwide Association of Female Entrepreneurs
Article and press release on the CEO and Youth Underground for having demonstrated excellence, maintained perseverance, and ascended the summit of professional accomplishment.
Worldwide Who’s Who
Feature of the CEO and Youth Underground in a press release, and publication in the “Worldwide Who’s Who” list of entrepreneurs for the work achieved in the area of human rights and advocacy.
Study Day 2016 – Foundation of the International School of Geneva
Presentation about Human Trafficking to the Foundation’s 11th grade students. Some 200 years after the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, we should not have to say, “Don’t buy people.” But we live in a world where buying people is actually a business – and a very lucrative one where young people are the main targets and the biggest money- makers. What is human trafficking? Why is it happening today? Why is it a collective responsibility?
Foundation of the International School of Geneva
Presentations and continual support to senior students in particular, in all aspects of their studies to highlight human rights, and their responsibility in defending these rights; as well as engaging them as our ambassadors in events both within and outside their schools as well as within and outside Switzerland.
Partnered with the Trailblazers’ Fashion Show awareness event in the Santa Clara bay area featuring 10-15 of California’s newest talent on the fashion stage. This partnership included showcasing the work of teenagers to strengthen their reach as a community, and increase their knowledge and recognize those in the Santa Clara community who are actively involved in combatting human trafficking head on.
Grace As Justice magazine
Featured our work ― cover story of magazine’s 4th edition ― in the area of human trafficking, youth education and prevention, representing Switzerland; along with the largest European-based associations working in the same field.
MsGinko, a not-for-profit affiliate of Legacy Sàrl
To support and inspire social change for women and girls worldwide through the production of short videos. Our CEO was requested to be an Advisory Board Member for the work achieved with Youth Underground.
To record and collect in-depth audiovisual interviews of the life stories of people who shape our world, with a focus on the youth.
Global Welfare Association (GLOWA)
Collaboration to showcase GLOWA, a not-for-profit NGO that fights human trafficking and the damage it creates in communities throughout the Northwest Region of Cameroon (AIDS orphans, trafficked children); and enable them to use our name, logo and fair trade T-shirts in their youth awareness-raising and educational campaigns (photos, videos, testimonials).
Collaboration to showcase our work as the voice of the youth; share our work on Virgin’s Leadership & Advocacy blog; and ongoing social media showcasing of our work by Virgin and Virgin Unite.
Social media is where the youth express themselves best. The main thread, with our guidance, is involvement of the youth – their concerns, their knowledge, their creativity, and what they have to say in their own words. How important are the youth in speaking up and shaping our world? What is the world they envisage or would like to live in? What can they do about it? This is what we try to underline.
Click on titles to access social media pages:
Follow us on YouTube and see what high school students have to say about human trafficking!
Share your stories on our Facebook page. If you would like us to feature yours, contact us via Facebook messenger or post your comments on our wall. You can also send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always interested to hear what is important to you wherever you may be in the world!
Tune in to Twitter and join our conversation!
Our Instagram has a different theme every day. This is how it works:
#MondayMotivation is an image by artist Alyâa Kamel, specially drawn for Youth Underground. The themes vary but will always involve a humanitarian aspect and a message to kick off the week.
#TeamTuesday includes different aspects of the work we do as a team. We began this series by introducing our staff members. Today, we show what has meaning to us and what we are trying to achieve as an organization.
#WorldwideWednesday is a picture of a person from any region in the world, wearing our fair-trade T-shirt. Here, we explain the meaning of fair trade, the T-shirt as a “call to action” and the importance of slavery-free products.
#ThursdayThoughts are a shoutout to a person, organization or cause we feel is making a difference for the better.
#FactFriday / #DidYouKnow includes short statistics, facts and figures about human trafficking.
#SaturdaySnaps are short video clips or film trailers (less than one minute in length) to convey a message or share a project we are working on.
#SundaySeries / #HearMeOut is really the highlight of our week in which we share real testimonies by human trafficking survivors. These testimonies are posted as they are told, without any editing on our part. They recount the journey of victims, their personal experience as victims, their escape, and how they are coping with their lives today as survivors. This series is raw and graphic; no sugar-coating here. And the idea came from the youth themselves, which we found awesome!
#YU… Why you?
Because you have a voice
and change is in your hands.