18 Things You Can Do to Stop Human Trafficking
Large-scale slavery didn’t end with the Civil War.
According to A21, an anti-human trafficking nonprofit, an estimated 27 million people are in bondage across the globe. Only 1-2% of those are ever rescued. And the average age of a victim is 12-years-old.
What can we do to stop it?
There are several ways you can take action against human trafficking. Educate yourself and others about it, lobby for legislations that will help defeat it, only purchase items from companies that know where their labor is coming from or volunteer at one of the many anti-human trafficking nonprofits. Awareness is great. Action is even better. Check out this list and pick one–or several–things to do and get started.
Educate yourself and others
1. Take this survey to find out what your slavery footprint is
OK, so this isn’t an action that can help stop human trafficking. But it is an excellent educational tool that is valuable to anyone passionate about this cause.
The page where you click to take the survey has some mind-blowing information on it, so be sure to scroll all the way down and read carefully.
The quiz itself is extremely eye-opening, with captivating visuals and relevant facts thrown in alongside questions about your lifestyle. I took the quiz myself and, prepare to be shocked, it told me that an estimated 48 slaves work for me to produce items I use every day.
2. Know the signs of human trafficking
Find a comprehensive list of behaviors usually exhibited by someone in bondage here. Learn these signs so you can be ready to call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888 when you spot them. You could save someone’s life.
You’re most likely to come across someone being trafficked while traveling, so keep your eyes peeled and go with your gut. If something feels wrong, it probably is.
Lobby to change laws & policies
3. Sign this petition through Polaris, one of our Top Ranked Nonprofits of 2010.
The petition is to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), which you can read about more in depth here.
According to Polaris, the TVPA “established several methods of prosecuting traffickers, preventing human trafficking, and protecting victims and survivors of trafficking.”
4. Send a message to your congressman about the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
Polaris has also provided an easy way to search for your congressman’s contact information so you can send them a letter telling them it’s time to stand up against human trafficking and support the reauthorization of the TVPA.
5. Send a message to your congressman about a new bill that would address forced labor.
Polaris’ website states that there’s a new bill in Congress that would require companies to disclose the measures they’re taking to address forced labor and human trafficking within their supply chains. Stop businesses from turning a blind eye to the conditions of their workers. Read a press release about the bill here.
6. Call on the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to pass a bill that would provide at risk youth with vital services that could prevent them from becoming victims of human trafficking.
Polaris makes it easy to reach out to both the Senate and House of Representatives through their pre-populated form. All you have to do is add your name and address.
Youth at risk of coerced labor exploitation or commercial sexual exploitation include LGBTQ and homeless young people. Read more about it here.
7. Ask your hotel to become part of The Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct.
ECPAT-USA has made it easy with the printable letter located on their website.
ECPAT-USA’s tagline is “ending child slavery at the source.” One way they do that is by working with travel companies to put in place policies and programs that will help them detect and reporting cases of child sex trafficking that happen at their facilities.
This letter will help persuade travel companies that they should implement the life-saving policies.
Spend your money wisely
8. Buy clothes from Elegantees.
Elegantees provides hope and support for human trafficking victims by giving them a safe place to work where they can finally earn a fair wage.
They do this by selling clothes made by those rescued from human trafficking in Nepal. They work to alleviate poverty in Nepal, therefore reducing human trafficking brought on by vulnerability and desperation.
Their clothes are comfy and come in a wide array of styles. Plus when someone compliments your outfit, you can take the opportunity to educate them about human trafficking.
9. Buy clothes from Garment Collective.
Similar to Elegantees above, their clothes are made by human trafficking victims and their tagline is “Redemption for All.” Love it.
FRDM (Forced Labor Risk Determination & Mitigation) helps businesses do exactly what it says—locate and address risks of child labor. Developed by nonprofit Made in a Free World, this software could reduce child labor all over the world.
For it to work though, companies have to use it. Thankfully, MIAFW has a handy form on their website where you can easily send a letter to companies who have yet to use the software.
There have already been 1.36+ million letters sent. Add yours to the mix.
11. Only shop at Fair Trade companies
Fair Trade USA is a nonprofit that certifies companies and products as “fair trade” based on several requirements, some of them being fair prices for farmers’ harvests and safe conditions for workers.
Their mission states, “Through direct, equitable trade, farming and working families are able to eat better, keep their kids in school, improve health and housing, and invest in the future.”
12. Only shop at Made in a Free World companies
Made in a Free World also makes it easy to see what businesses have taken the steps to reduce human trafficking and child labor by listing them all on their website. The companies listed already use the FRDM software to reduce the risk of child labor in their workforce.
It makes a difference where you choose to spend your dollars.
13. Participate in Dressember.
Each December, Dressember registrants commit to wearing a dress every day for the month of December to shine a light on human trafficking and ultimately raise funds for anti-trafficking organizations, including the International Justice Mission.
I participated in this challenge in 2014, forming a team with two of my friends. Together we raised $500. In total, Dressember raised $465,000 that year alone.
It might sound goofy at first, but click the link above to read their mission statement. What they stand for is worth wearing a dress for a month straight. Plus, you get to participate in fun hashtags on social media like #youcandoanythinginadress.
14. Run for As Our Own
As Our Own has a threefold mission based in India. They rescue those trapped in slavery, provide aftercare for them and work to break patterns that lead to vulnerability to human trafficking.
They hold races in several locations in the U.S. to raise money that goes straight to girls that have been rescued out of slavery in India, not to As Our Own. Signing up to run is a big undertaking because they ask you to raise $750 before race day (but if you don’t, they won’t kick you out!). They also have a fundraising action kit to help you know how to raise the money.
Grab a some friends and form a team! It won’t seem as daunting when you’re not alone.
15. Visit Red Thread Movement’s website for ideas
They have a great list of ways you can raise money to support those working to establish justice for all people.
16. Use our website to find an anti-human trafficking nonprofit near you
Ask them about fundraisers they are holding and how you can help.
17. Volunteer for the International Justice Mission.
The International Justice Mission is a “worldwide team of lawyers, social workers, investigators and other professionals” who work behind the scenes to change laws and legislations and bring justice to those who’ve had their rights stripped from them.
Since they’re worldwide, they have tons of opportunities for volunteers all over doing anything from administration to working benefits to going out into the field for a fellowship.
18. Again, use our website to find an anti-human trafficking nonprofit near you
OK so I cheated and used this twice. But seriously, get involved!
Remember that it might not feel like you are making a difference, but if everyone took a stand, we could end slavery in our generation.
Do you know of any other ways we can help end human trafficking now? Let us know in the comments!