Human trafficking is everywhere. It’s in our country. It’s in our community and it has the potential to even be in your social or family circle. It is truly a crime hidden in plain sight.
Human trafficking, defined by the Department of Homeland Security, involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. This can include sex trafficking, forced labor, and domestic servitude.
You can make a difference in the fight against human trafficking.
1) Know the Signs
According to the National Human Trafficking Statistics Report, the top five risk factors for human trafficking in the U.S. are:
- recent migration/relocation
- substance use
- runaway/homeless youth
- mental health concerns
- involvement in the child welfare system
2) See Something, Say Something
Trust your gut if you see something that feels "off". If you believe someone may be a victim of human trafficking, call the 24-hour at 1-888-373-7888 or report an emergency to law enforcement by calling 911.
3) Stop the Demand
Consider what you consume and the businesses you support. How you shop, eat, and the media you consume matters. Demand fuels exploitation.
Human trafficking is the only industry in which the supply and demand are the same thing: human beings. People demanding the sale of people.
High demand drives the high volume of supply. Increasing demand from consumers for cheap goods incentivizes corporations to demand cheap labor, often forcing those at the bottom of the supply chain to exploit workers. Increased demand for commercial sex incentivizes commercial sex venues including strip clubs, pornography and prostitution to recruit and exploit vulnerable individuals.
4) Get Involved
Partner with anti-trafficking organizations in your community who are already doing amazing work. Use this interactive map to find local anti-trafficking organizations near you. Offer your time, talent or treasure in the fight against human trafficking. Ask how you can best support them. Perhaps they need volunteers or you could help with an awareness or fundraising event. Donate clothing and toiletries for survivors coming out of a crisis situation. Donate financially to help them continue their operations. Volunteer to mentor or teach a new skill. Give to help organizations continue and expand their services.
5) Raise Awareness
Use your voice to raise awareness in your social circle by sharing on social media, participating or hosting a community event like A21 Walk For Freedom, and inviting friends, family and co-workers to informational events like the Call To Freedom annual breakfast.
We are constantly inspired by other freedom businesses around the globe. Freedom Businesses fight against human trafficking by empowering survivors through employment. Creating safe and sustainable jobs is critical to ending the cycle of vulnerability and exploitation. We are proud to be members of the Freedom Business Alliance. When you shop survivor made products you are fighting human trafficking through empowerment, healing and economic independence.