For many years, I have had the pleasure of working with the team behind The Body Shop’s campaign to Stop the Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People. As most people are aware, since its founding, The ethos of the Body Shop has been firmly grounded in ‘striving to be a force for good.’ Throughout the years, the company has been instrumental to raising global awareness of its values, from protecting the planet to human rights, fair trade and others.
In 2007, The Body Shop founder, Dame Anita Roddick, spearheaded a new area of focus for The Body Shop: putting a stop the ‘21st century slave trade,’ the sex trafficking of children and young people. The company joined with ECPAT International, a global leader in tackling trafficking, and the ‘Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People’ campaign was born.
I recently had the opportunity to catch up with The Body Shop Global Campaigns Manager Jessie Macneil-Brown to learn more about the campaign.
Q: The Body Shop Stop Sex Trafficking’ campaign has been a true testament to the power of good that a global brand can accomplish. Through our work together, I’ve been impressed by how you have worked with ECPAT International as well as other key stakeholders – customers, supporters, activists and governments – to drive change. As a starting point, could you provide background about how you started the campaign?
A: The Body Shop is a business that strives to be a force for good and our founder created a business that reflected her incredible mix of activism and entrepreneurship. Before her death in 2007, Dame Anita Roddick, asked our international campaigns team to focus on human trafficking. In 2008 we partnered with ECPAT International and in 2009 we launched the Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People campaign in 2,600 stores and 65 countries.
18 months ago we launched campaign petitions aiming to inspire The Body Shop customers and ECPAT supporters to call on the governments of the world to take action to do more to protect children and young people affected by sex trafficking.
In just one year we received the support of over 7million The Body Shop customers around the world when they came into our stores to sign petitions and purchase dedicated fundraising products. The ground breaking Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People campaign has created historic change and is the biggest campaign in the history of The Body Shop.
Q: The campaign is quite comprehensive. Can you please provide an overview of the elements?
A: The campaign was split into three phases over three years.
- In year 1 we aimed to increase public awareness of this global issue.
- Year 2 we petitioned national governments, the EU and the UN, urging decision-makers around the world to honour their commitments to give children greater protection.
- In Year 3 we are continuing our advocacy work with politicians and key influencers.
Jessie, thanks very much for an overview of the campaign. There’s more to follow. We will continue this discussion in a second post next week. Please check back!