ANYONE CAN FIGHT HUMAN TRAFFICKING, AND EVERYONE IS NEEDED IN THE FIGHT.
First Things First
1. Know the signs of human trafficking.
If your occupation might put you into contact with human trafficking victims, know what to look for and how to handle it.
2. Know the National Human Trafficking Hotline (we suggest programming it into your phone).
3. If you have children of your own or children in your life, make sure they are well protected.
2. Download these apps to learn more and be more involved.
3. 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.
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, and End Slavery Now also has a list of working anti-slavery organizations. These lists, however, do not provide an exhaustive search. Search for organizations that you can volunteer, partner with or donate to in your abolitionist work.
2. Learn about legislation and law enforcement in your space.
Some archaic laws and practices still exist, and even among government officials and law enforcement agencies, human trafficking is often misunderstood and misrepresented.
Call your city or county police department and ask if their officers receive human trafficking training annually or know how to recognize the signs of human trafficking, if they have a history of arresting human trafficking victims instead of helping them, and if they know who to contact for victim services if they do find a human trafficking victim. Too many police departments do not even know the answers to these questions.
Call your state's attorney general, your mayor's office, or any other government officials. Ask if they have anti-trafficking programs established, if their staff receive any education on human trafficking, or if any necessary changes in legislation are being pursued. During local elections, be sure to ask candidates what their stance is on legislation and how they plan to address the issue during their time in office. When citizens prioritize an issue, it forces elected officials to prioritize it as well.
3. Host an educational event.
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! The articles below give examples of awareness events that have been done in the past.