So you’ve come to terms with the fact that human trafficking is occurring around you. You’ve heard that the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 40.3 million victims. You know very well there could be victims of trafficking in your community…
But now what? You might ask “Is there anything you can do to help?”
Center for Girls (CFG) has compiled a list of manageable actions you can do to join us in the fight to end human trafficking.
Take an online course to deepen your understanding of the issue. Invite your friends to join you!
Learn the signs of possible instances of human trafficking and how to report them in your area. Some signs include:
- Living with their employer
- In poor living conditions
- May not be allowed to speak to you in person
- Their answers to questions sound rehearsed or scripted
- The employer is holding their passport or other identification documents
- The employee is unpaid or paid very little
- They are submissive and fearful
- You can see signs of physical violence
Thai Phone # to report suspected human trafficking- 1300
American Phone # to report suspected human trafficking- 1-866-347-2423
Take accountability for how your personal purchases may be funding modern-day slavery.
Clothing: The demand for cheap clothing is requiring companies to seek out cheap labor in countries where they have lower wages and less strict labor laws. Employees are often promised fair wages and then coerced into substandard and low-paying positions. “The ILO states that many of the estimated 170 million children engaged in child labor, work in textile factories helping produce fast fashion trends.” Next time you’re excited about the bargain basement price on your favorite clothing store’s website…remember they may be exploiting forced labor.
Food: Do you know where the food on your plate came from? What country? Who made it? There’s always a possibility it came from someone working in unsafe and unpaid conditions. Over 1/3 of the world’s 10.7 million forced labor victims are working in agriculture.
The ILO estimates that forced labor in agriculture generates approximately $9 billion in annual profits. Global Citizen found that Tea, Shrimp, Chocolate, Abalone, Tomatoes, Beef + Dairy rate the “Worst Foods for Our Humanity.”
Check out Know the Chain‘s 2020/2021 ranking on which food, clothing, and technology companies are (and aren’t) taking the initiative to ensure safe and fair conditions for their workers.
- Look for items that have a Fairtrade mark, meaning they have met the internationally agreed-upon standards
- Buy second-hand goods so you’re not directly funding the company who made the product
- Purchase locally made or grown items to be sure your money is going directly back to the creators.
- Research a brand’s supply chain before purchasing from them to find fully transparent companies
We’re sure you’ve learned by now that human trafficking is a worldwide issue, which means it could very well be happening in your own backyard. This presents you with an opportunity to make a difference in your local community.
Use the Global Modern Day Slavery Directory to find an organization local to you to support! Contact them and ask how you can be of assistance. Many of these organizations run on the backs of volunteers and they will appreciate any help you can provide, big or small.
Living in or coming to Thailand? Volunteer for us!
Center for Girls is so glad you’ve taken the time to educate yourself on making a difference, but now is your time to share that knowledge with your community!
Brainstorm ways you can engage your neighbors in making a difference…You can organize a fundraiser for a local Anti-Human Trafficking Organization, start a Human Trafficking Awareness Club, or hold an educational event to share all your knowledge with your neighbors.
Around 27% of the world’s trafficking victims are children. Ending human trafficking isn’t just about saving the youth currently trapped, but also preventing future sufferers. To assist with this, we recommend:
- Talk to your own children about what human trafficking looks like so they can safeguard themselves and look out for their friends. Be sure to emphasize online safety and set an example of what a healthy romantic relationship should look like- both aspects that can be used to target youth. Check out the DHS’s guide on how to talk to your children about Human Trafficking.
- Encourage your local school or school district to include human trafficking in their curriculum. Have a meeting with your school’s headmaster or principal to discuss implementing human trafficking awareness and prevention into all children’s education. “The Frederick Douglas Family Initiative has partnered with two California non-profit organizations, 3Strands Global Foundation and Love Never Fails, to develop PROTECT, the largest and most comprehensive human trafficking prevention education program of its kind.” The curriculum your community needs have already been created! Be the reason is gets implemented in your town.
These are just a few of the many ways you personally can make a difference in ending human trafficking. Even choosing one of these actions can help save someone currently being exploited or another person being targeted.
Center for Girls thank you for joining us in the fight to end modern-day slavery.
– Katherine Wilkins
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Not able to come to join us in Thailand yet? Consider donating
Not able to donate today? Look for opportunities in your community to work against gender-based violence and human trafficking, as these are universal issues.