Human Trafficking can feel like a giant incurable problem especially when you hear that there are over 40 million persons who are caught in modern day slavery today and that it is the fastest growing crime in the world.
But do not despair. The worst thing any of us can do is throw up our hands and say “well, I can’t fix it”.
It has been said that for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing. -Reverend Charles Frederic Aked (1916)
So I want to break down three simple and easy things that you can do to help fight Human Trafficking.
1) Know the signs of Human Trafficking and report it if you see it
This is especially important when you know you’ll be traveling or going to a big city. Airports, truck stops, and train stations are some of the biggest hubs of human trafficking. Also, large sporting events like the SuperBowl and others breed illegal activity such as Human Trafficking in large numbers every year.
Here’s a good list of signs I found from the Polaris Project (https://polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/recognize-signs):
2) Purchase ethically
Sex trafficking often gets the most media attention. But forced labor actually accounts for over half of Human Trafficking and shouldn’t be overlooked.
If you’ve never taken the slavery footprint quiz, you really really should. It’s quite eye opening. And it’s interactive, so hey, that’s kinda neat. http://slaveryfootprint.org/
How to Purchase Ethically:
Research, research again, and try your best. When you’re looking at retailers look for those who openly tell you where and how something is made. Look for 3rd party certifications such as Fair Trade Certified and GOTS. Honest companies will tell you specifics when you inquire, so email, call, and ask who made it and how they are being treated.
But I get it, it’s a lot of work to go through all that. That’s why I made my own ethical clothing boutique. We partner with artisan groups who do not take advantage of workers, but instead empower them to overcome injustice like domestic abuse and human trafficking. You can browse carefree and actually enjoy shopping again!
Here’s four GREAT “days” to participate in to advocate for Human Trafficking awareness, rescue, and restoration.
1) Every January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. January 11th 2019 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Wear the color blue on this day and share the National Human Trafficking Hotline on your social media feeds.
2) February 7th is Shine A Light on Slavery Day. You can raise awareness by drawing a red X on your hand, taking a picture, and sharing it on social media with the hashtag #enditmovement
3) Every April during the week of the 22nd, it’s Fashion Revolution Week. This is when thousands of people come together to ask their favorite brands “who made my clothes?”. You can print out a flyer that says “Who Made My Clothes”, take a selfie, post it on your social media accounts, and tag your favorite retailers asking them the question.
4) Every month of December is Dressember. You can wear a dress every day of December to raise awareness. You can also sign up to become an advocate and campaign for donations that go to the best organizations in Human Trafficking rescue, relief, and restoration. I have participated in Dressember for a total of 3 years so far with 2018 being the one where I posted about it every day on Instagram (which is not a requirement to participate).
Bonus way to fight Human Trafficking: Pray
I believe that human trafficking is rooted in a spiritual war. I believe that all persons who call themselves a Christian should be praying (and acting) to bring an end to Human Trafficking. God is the same God who pulled a whole people out of slavery in Egypt. God is the same God who laid his own earthly life down in his son Jesus Christ so that all can experience Freedom. There’s no freedom in Human Trafficking. Let’s pray together that captives would be set free, captors would be brought to justice, and every victim would experience peace and healing.
I specifically left out donating money out of this list because often times people think "I don't have extra money to donate, so I can't help." But that's simply not true! We can all do something, and I think we need to do something. And for the record, donating money to authentic Human Trafficking fighting organizations is GREAT too!
Did any of these inspire you to take action? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!
Hey! I'm Christine, I'm an entrepreneur and small business owner who has learned by trial and error. I write helpful articles that help you take your next steps in business. Occasionally I like to mix things up and dash in a bit of lifestyle topics. Thanks for being here!