Each year, the Department of State honors individuals around the world who have devoted their lives to the fight against human trafficking. These individuals are NGO workers, lawmakers, police officers, and concerned citizens who are committed to ending modern slavery. They are recognized for their tireless efforts – despite resistance, opposition, and threats to their lives – to protect victims, punish offenders, and raise awareness of ongoing criminal practices in their countries and abroad.
Philip Hyldgaard acts as European Operations Manager for The A21 Campaign in Greece. A21 is an NGO dedicated to combating sex trafficking in Eastern Europe and provides services such as medical and psychological treatment as well as legal and vocational assistance. Mr. Hyldgaard guided the launch of The A21 Campaign in Greece and facilitated the opening of The A21 Campaign’s first shelter for victims of trafficking. Due to his dedication to victim protection and support, The A21 Campaign was able to offer shelter to 21 victims of sex trafficking in 2011. These victims also received computer skills, vocational training, life and education guidance, counseling, and access to legal assistance through its transition program, Empower.
Mr. Hyldgaard’s vision and guidance have led to the establishment of a nationwide hotline to report suspected cases of human trafficking and to increase awareness among government officials, students, and the general public in Greece. Under his leadership, The A21 Campaign continues to work tirelessly to educate and enlist new partners through its growing internship program and various outreach and awareness-raising initiatives. The A21 Campaign has expanded to other countries including Bulgaria, the Ukraine, the UK, and the United States because of his energy and commitment.