First Things First

Learn what human trafficking looks like in your community. 

         The National Human Trafficking Resource Center publishes data on what human trafficking tips are reported within a certain state. this is not a comprehensive view of human trafficking (as this data only represents what is reported), but is a good starting place to understand how human trafficking has manifested in your neighborhood. 

Next Steps

1. Get more involved in what is already established in your community. 

          What organizations work to prevent human trafficking in your community, or provide services to human trafficking survivors? This database from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center allows a search by zip code or city, however, it is not an exhaustive search. Search for organizations that you can volunteer, partner with or donate to in your abolitionist work.

2. Make sure that victim services are available in your area. The average number of beds designated for victims of human trafficking in the U.S. is an abysmal 13 per state. Here is a report on available services for human trafficking victims at a local, state, and national level. 

3. Federal law requires traffickers to pay their victims lost wages, but most victims never receive restitution. Check if there are precedent for legal cases in your city or state that uphold or break this federal law. 

4. Contact your government officials or law enforcement agencies through phone calls or a letter writing campaign.

         Some archaic laws and practices still exist, and even among government officials and law enforcement agencies, human trafficking is often misunderstood and misrepresented.

        There are many ways communities can avoid participating in human trafficking. Make sure your city, county and state premises use fair trade products whenever possible. California has passed a law requiring companies to do more to combat human trafficking in their supply chains. It is the only state to suggest such measures for corporations and businesses. Public transportation have the National Human Trafficking Hotline posted in their areas for citizens. 

5. Host an educational event or start an educational initiative. 

       This can be anything from an art exhibit to an educational presentation or a movie screening. Do research into any educational events your community has hosted in the past, and help spread awareness about human trafficking!

         Are you a student? Join an anti-human trafficking student group or, if your campus does not have one, organize one. Make sure that your campus uses fair trade products whenever possible. Check out this Student Engagement Toolkit from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.