Kate Garber – WOMAN of ACTION™

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A Celebration of Women™

is elated to Celebrate the Life of this powerful woman leader that is devoting her life to the betterment of our youth, with a focus on the issue of the Human Trafficking of girls/women in the U.K.

Being the Founder of UNSEEN, regarded as an expert in the perils of Human Trafficking, this woman devotes her life to the eradication of this form of human slavery; leading the charge to help young women reach out to freedom and safety.



kate w of a uk

Kate Garbers

Human trafficking is the trade of humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others. This may encompass providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage, or the extraction of organs or tissues, including for surrogacy and ova removal.

Human trafficking can occur within a country or trans-nationally. Human trafficking is a crime against the person because of the violation of the victim’s rights of movement through coercion and because of their commercial exploitation. Human trafficking is the trade in people, and does not necessarily involve the movement of the person from one place to another.

Women and girls are more prone to trafficking also because of social norms that marginalize their value and status in society. Females face considerable gender discrimination both at home and in school. Stereotypes that women belong at home in the private sphere and that women are less valuable because they do not and are not allowed to contribute to formal employment and monetary gains the same way men do further marginalize women’s status relative to men. Some religious beliefs also lead people to believe that the birth of girls are a result of bad karma, further cementing the belief that girls are not as valuable as boys. Various social norms contribute to women’s inferior position and lack of agency and knowledge, thus making them vulnerable to exploitation such as sex trafficking.

HumanTraffickingThere are many different estimates of how large the human trafficking and sex trafficking industries are. According to scholar Kevin Bales, author of Disposable People (2004), estimates that as many as 27 million people are in “modern-day slavery” across the globe.

In 2008, the U.S. Department of State estimates that 2 million children are exploited by the global commercial sex trade. In the same year, a study classified 12.3 million individuals worldwide as “forced laborers, bonded laborers or sex-trafficking victims.”

Approximately 1.39 million of these individuals worked as commercial sex slaves, with women and girls comprising 98%, or 1.36 million, of this population.

Human trafficking represented an estimated $31.6 billion of international trade per annum in 2010.

Human trafficking is thought to be one of the fastest-growing activities of trans-national criminal organizations.

Human trafficking is condemned as a violation of human rights by international conventions. In addition, human trafficking is subject to a directive in the European Union.

unseen statementKate is one of the founders and current Managing Director of Unseen.

Whilst working in an orphanage, the question was asked: ‘Where do the children go once they leave here?’. The response was both shocking and heart-breaking. It was discovered that many children, once they reach 16 and are ready to leave the orphanage, become involved in crime, gangs, prostitution or will be trafficked.

kate unseen

80% of all unemployed people in Ukraine are Women.

Ukraine is a source, transit and destination country for trafficked persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Up to half a million Ukrainian women have been trapped and enslaved and trafficked into the West. Of Ukrainian women who go abroad for a better chance to work, 80% end up working in the sex industry.

In 2008, Ukraine was one of the largest exporters of women to the international sex industry.

As more extensive research began we realized this was not a problem unique to Ukraine but that, the world over, countries were sending and receiving trafficked people. Even in the UK, and in our home city, women were and still are being bought, sold and traded to be exploited for sexual services.

kate garber trafficking2012We were compelled to act, and Unseen was formed with the following Values & Ethos. We believe the most effective way of achieving this goal is to concentrate our work on prevention, survivor support and increased collaboration with other experts.

We identify the genuine issues surrounding human trafficking through thorough research and then provide care and support where it’s needed. All of our current projects and those in development are the result of detailed investigation.

The charity, Unseen, said 549 children were uncovered as having been trafficked into the UK in 2012.

Among the reasons were forced labour, sexual exploitation and cannabis cultivation.

Unseen’s Kate Garbers said the options for those trying to place such children were “incredibly limited“.

“That’s one of the main reasons why Unseen decided we needed appropriate accommodation for children, and we have worked closely with the local authority and the police to design that,” she said.

The safe house will be designed to accommodate four children at any one time, with support staff and carers available around the clock.



Kate is the driving force and initiator of the Bristol’s Anti-Slavery Partnership and now jointly chairs this group with Avon and Somerset Constabulary and Bristol City Council.

The Anti-Slavery Partnership with Avon & Somerset Police and Bristol City Council bringing together multiple agencies, including other NGOS and local government, in fighting human trafficking and slavery in the South West.

The mission of the Anti-Slavery Partnership is to support and enable the discovery of and response to incidents of human trafficking and exploitation through a victim centered, multidisciplinary, and collaborative community effort.

For more information and to download resources or training material please visit the website.

As Managing Director Kate oversees the direct UK based operations and survivor support services Unseen runs and is responsible for the strategic and operational direction of the charity as part of Unseen’s leadership team. She actively works with local and national partners and government to effect systemic and sustainable change so that as a nation we can effectively raise awareness of this crime as well as prosecute the perpetrators and make the UK a more hostile environment for traffickers.

Unseen aims to provide safety, hope and choice to those who have been caught up in modern slavery and human trafficking. We are committed to curtailing trafficking and delivering excellence of care and compassion to those who have been exploited and abused as a result of modern slavery/human trafficking.

Kate is regarded as an expert on trafficking, and has coordinated, developed and delivered specialised training courses predominantly for police and regional frontline professionals including healthcare workers, youth offending teams and housing associations. Kate has contributed to the Guardian Global Development Hub, appeared on CNN international and the BBC as well as other local media channels.

Kate is a trained Person Centered Counsellor and also has represented Great Britain playing Ultimate Frisbee.

Stop_SlaveryModern slavery is a global crime and an area of huge concern here in the South West. Slavery involves one person obtaining or holding another person in compelled service.

People may be victims regardless of whether they were born into servitude or were transported into an exploitative situation, whether they once consented to work for a trafficker, or whether they participated in a crime as a direct result of slavery.

Victims found in the UK come from many different countries including Romania, Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam and the UK itself. Poverty, limited opportunities at home, lack of education, unstable social and political conditions, economic imbalances and war are some of the key drivers that contribute to trafficking of victims.

Locally victims have been found in Farms, Traveller Sites, Nail Bars, Massage Parlours, Cannabis Factories, Car Washes, Local Neighbourhoods & Residences, Takeaways/Restaurants, Homeless Shelters and many more everyday places.




FORCED LABOUR: Victims are forced to work against their will, often working very long hours for little or no pay in dire conditions under verbal or physical threats of violence.

DEBT BONDAGE: Victims are forced to work to pay off debts that realistically they never will be able to.

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION: Victims are forced to perform non-consensual or abusive sexual acts against their will, such as prostitution, escort work and pornography. Adults are coerced often under the threat of force, or another penalty.

CRIMINAL EXPLOITATION: Often controlled and maltreated, victims are forced into crimes such as cannabis cultivation or pick pocketing against their will.

DOMESTIC SERVITUDE: Victims are forced to carry out housework and domestic chores in private households with little or no pay, restricted movement, very limited or no free time and minimal privacy often sleeping where they work.

Poverty and lack of educational and economic opportunities in one’s hometown may lead women to voluntarily migrate and then be involuntarily trafficked into sex work. As globalization opened up national borders to greater exchange of goods and capital, labor migration also increased. Less wealthy countries have fewer options for livable wages. The economic impact of globalization pushes people to make conscious decisions to migrate and be vulnerable to trafficking. Gender inequalities that hinder women from participating in the formal sector also push women into informal sectors.

Long waiting lists for organs in the United States and Europe created a thriving international black market. Traffickers harvest organs, particularly kidneys, to sell for large profit and often without properly caring for or compensating the victims. Victims often come from poor, rural communities and see few other options than to sell organs illegally. Wealthy countries’ inability to meet organ demand within their own borders perpetuates trafficking. By reforming their internal donation system, Iran achieved a surplus of legal donors and provides an instructive model for eliminating both organ trafficking and -shortage.

human trafficking online globalizationGlobalization and the rise of internet technology has also facilitated sex trafficking. Online classified sites and social networks such as Craigslist have been under intense scrutiny for being used by johns and traffickers in facilitating sex trafficking and sex work in general. Traffickers use explicit sites and underground sites (e.g. Craigslist, Backpage, MySpace) to market, recruit, sell, and exploit females. Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites are suspected for similar uses. For example, Randal G. Jennings was convicted of sex trafficking five underage girls by forcing them to advertise on Craigslist and driving them to meet the customers.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, online classified ads reduce the risks of finding prospective customers. Studies have identified the Internet as the single biggest facilitator of commercial sex trade, although it is difficult to ascertain which women advertised are sex trafficking victims. Traffickers and pimps use the internet to recruit minors, since internet and social networking sites usage have significantly increased especially among children.

Organized criminals can generate up to several thousand dollars per day from one trafficked girl, and the internet has further increased profitability of sex trafficking and child trafficking. With faster access to a wider clientele, more sexual encounters can be scheduled. Victims and clients, according a New York City report on sex trafficking in minors, increasingly use the internet to meet customers. Due to protests, Craigslist has since closed its adult services section.

According to authorities, Backpage is now the main source for advertising trafficking victims. Investigators also frequently browse online classified ads to identify potential underage girls who are trafficked.


Thank God for women leaders like Kate Garber for Taking Action!



Driving force and initiator of the Bristol’s Anti-Trafficking Partnership (ATP)
Co-Chair of ATP and Expansion Sub-Group
Chair of the Training sub-group for the Home Office Joint Strategic Group
Member of Modern Slavery Unit (Home Office) Stakeholders Group
Member of Home Office Children’s sub-group
Member of Avon and Somerset Constabulary Human Trafficking Working Group
Member of the Bristol Safeguarding Childrens Board- Child Sexual Exploitation
Member of Problem Profile and Training sub-groups (ATP)
Member of Human Trafficking Foundation Care Standards group

UNSEEN – Facebook

Kate Garbers – Linkedin


A Celebration of Women™

welcomes this powerhouse into our global alumni with open arms, looking forward to future collaborations, bettering the lives of all women and children, focusing on the challenge of servicing their needs, leading vicitms into freedom from Human Trafficking.



Brava Kate!


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