The International Tribunal for Natural Justice are declaring war on human trafficking and sex abuse industries. They are working from the roots up to expose injustice and change the way we protect human rights around the world.
Speaking exclusively to Shout Out UK, representatives from the ITNJ lift the lid on their work and their vision of a new world order.
‘Human trafficking and child sexual abuse are the first things we need to address before we address anything political. They are the most nefarious of practices being unleashed on humanity’. Edith Cragg, ITNJ Trustee.
Justice is something many of us take for granted. We value the protection of our rights, receive equality in the eyes of the law, and expect fair treatment in the simplest of ways that we live. In doing so however, we turn a blind eye to a reality that we all know exists.
This intrinsic view of justice is dangerous.
We are aware of abuses of human rights around the world. We hear about specific cases through the mainstream media. Often, however, they are far from us both geographically and emotionally. We create a distance from them in order to keep our conscience unencumbered.
The reality is that even the most developed societies are deeply flawed.
Injustice exists where we do not even seen it. While we may show concern for a short period of time about isolated cases in developing countries or high-profile cases closer to home, there is a wider problem that continues without attention.
This has led to the creation of the ITNJ. You may have never heard of them before, but they are here and they mean business.
‘evil can only exist if good people do nothing’
Beginning in 2015, the organisation exists as an independent investigative body, focussing currently on human trafficking and widespread sexual abuse. Their volunteers work directly with victims and witnesses, collecting data and testimonies.
‘For the people, by the people and of the people’
While it is an evolving organisation, the mission of the ITNJ is clear.
After collecting and recording testimonies of victims and witnesses, it will release these directly to the public in the U.K., the U.S. and Australia. In doing so, they will encourage ‘the ordinary person in the street to say “we aren’t accepting this anymore” ‘, and to contact their political representative and demand some course of action.
Timothy Cragg, trustee of the ITNJ, opened up about the difficulty of engaging the public. ‘So many people are just comfortable enough that they don’t want to take on board a fight that is a dark rabbit hole to go down’.
‘What we are trying to do’, he continued, ‘is to present this incredibly difficult information in a way that we don’t lose people’.
The ITNJ are aware of how hard it is to mobilise support for an issue that people don’t see as immediate. When pressed on method, the organisation revealed it will use edited video highlights in ‘palatable and shortish sections’ on social media and other platforms. This, they hope, can be shared, retweeted and exposed to show onlookers some harsh realities.
As the representatives reiterated, ‘evil can only exist if good people do nothing’.
Central Government and ‘lip service’
On that note, I asked whether central governments were really doing enough. Specifically, I asked if last year’s conference held in Washington between Ivanka Trump and Theresa May was simply two administrations paying lip service to the issue.
To my surprise that was not necessarily the case.
While the ITNJ do believe that the issue falls into a ‘too hard’ basket for government, President Trump signed an executive order on the matter in December 2017. It vowed to confiscate the assets of any person or organisation found to be involved in human trafficking.
While this is ‘a step in the right direction’, the ITNJ are yet to learn of any similar action taken by British Parliament.
‘We have had a perception for many years of who runs the world. Now it is time to unite as humanity and say enough is enough’.
So what about other organisations? What about organisations that exist to protect such rights?
The trustees explained that sometimes that lid is often the hardest to close once opened. Ms Cragg referenced the Clinton Foundation, and particularly Hillary Clinton’s intervention in the case of convicted trafficker Laura Silsby in 2010. Mrs Clinton’s involvement led to a significant decrease in Silsby’s sentence.
It is ‘a sophisticated industry, these people meet every year in Budapest, they divvy up the areas probably in a five-star hotel and it becomes a trillion-dollar business’.
While Ms Cragg did not want to directly blame the Clinton Foundation, there was a reference there. ‘I’m not implying anything, people need to do their own research’.
The ITNJ’s condemnation of global institutions did not stop there.
‘In Bosnia, the UN moved in very quickly after the initial fighting’, part of that force was a Canadian police officer recruited as a peacekeeper. ‘She went to Sarajevo and discovered that her colleagues were running trafficking networks’. Her report was ‘disregarded by her immediate superiors’ and only acknowledged when a journalist put her in contact with higher UN authorities.
This was a team of internationals who had been approved as peacekeepers by the UN. None of the criminals ever stood trial or faced justice.
Clearly, the world is not working in the way that we think it is. When I asked if the ITNJ would consider naming and shaming politicians who will be made aware of these cases, their answer was clear.
‘It would be something that we would be considering subject to the sort of responses that we receive’. Mr Cragg reiterated that the immediate goal of the ITNJ is to mobilise the public rather than attempt to directly destroy existing power structures.
This is an organisation who is very aware of its own power and position.
It is relatively young, driven by dedicated and passionate volunteers who themselves admit to once living in this bubble. But now they want change, and they believe that can be done by engaging young people and the wider public.
What the trustees were eager to convey, is that human trafficking and sexual abuses are incredibly intricate businesses. It is ‘a sophisticated industry, these people meet every year in Budapest, they divvy up the areas probably in a five-star hotel and it becomes a trillion dollar business’.
More concerning is that all of these networks are interlinked, and putting our blind faith in authorities can be a dangerous game.
‘The cavalry have arrived, we have arrived’
The ITNJ believe that the public are the immediate answer. Emotionally charging the average person will begin a domino effect which means representatives must start addressing questions that they have been ignoring for years.
‘We are controlled into thinking that we can’t do anything because we are weak and powerless’, they state. Their message is simple. That dynamic needs to change, and the ITNJ are here to ensure that this happens before it is too late.
While you can follow updates from the ITNJ through Shout Out UK, you can find more information about their work via the following link: https://www.itnj.org/