Blue Heart Campaign 2023



​The theme for the 2023 Blue Heart Campaign was ‘Reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind’. The Human Rights Directorate, in collaboration with the Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms and Equality, organised a Blue Heart Campaign event on 25th July 2023 at the Valletta University Campus. This event brought together prominent national stakeholders from the public service, the private sector, civil society and international organisations to discuss the strengthening of collaboration and a multi-disciplinary approach in the fight against trafficking.

      

During the event, a video feature case study was shown to the attendees and later uploaded on social media. The video feature focused on the story of ‘Sephora’, a victim of sex trafficking, who unknowingly applied to a fake job advertisement which lured her to Spain for ‘training’ under false pretences. The video continues to show the reality of trafficking experiences through a victim-centred approach, and highlights how ‘Sephora’ had her identification documents taken from her and ended up being forced to work in a prostitution ring.

Watch the video here:


The conference was composed of two panels. The first panel focused was based on the video feature and discussed the prevention of trafficking in human beings and the protection of victims during identification process. This panel was composed of Ms Svetlana Buttigieg (FSWS), Inspector Sylvana Gafa (VSA), Mr Josef Bugeja (GWU), and Mr Bruno Zahra (Legal Aid). The second panel discussed the importance of collection of evidence for effective investigations to lead to more convictions and was composed of Dr Lynn Chircop Faure (HRIU), Inspector Joseph Busuttil (MPF), Ms Kimberly Clews (FIAU).

   



In addition, the HRIU launched a series of 3 designs to inform the public on the indicators of human trafficking, in particular, labour exploitation, sexual exploitation and child trafficking.



During the week of 22nd and 30th July 2023, various prominent buildings and landmarks were lit up in blue to raise awareness and promote the Blue Heart Campaign. Contributors included the following local councils: Balzan, Birzebbugia, Attard, Tarxien, Qala, Marsaxlokk, Mellieha, Ħal Kirkop, Mqabba, Santa Venera, Hal Tarxien, Swieqi, Eastern Regional Council as well as the Mosta Civic Centre, Local Councils’ Association, Kottonera Foundation, Palazzo Ferreria, Mtarfa Tower, Ħal Għargħur Semaphore Tower, Pembroke Tower and the LOVE Monument.​


On this day, the HRIU also announced its support for the #BeSafe campaign by the OSCE. This campaign helps to keep Ukrainian refugees safe from human trafficking by providing information on recognition of trafficker’s tricks, how to avoid them, and how to get help if needed. 

Read more about this initiative here: https://www.helpforukrainians.info/​