Human trafficking can sometimes seem like too big an issue to take on, but every action matters. Eitan Peled of UNICEF USA offers eight actions you can take to fight this human rights violation in your community.
No country is immune from human trafficking, including the United States. It’s a crime that impacts people of every age. Globally, 10 million children are subjected to modern slavery, which includes child trafficking, forced labor, and child marriage. Here are eight ways for you to take action against trafficking:
1. Learn the facts.
Anyone can be trafficked, regardless of class, education, gender, or age when coerced or lured by false promises. Get more facts about human trafficking.
2. Think carefully about your purchases.
The clothes we wear and the food we eat are often made with exploitative labor practices. Find out if the products you purchase were made with exploitative labor practices at slaveryfootprint.org.
3. Demand ethically-sourced products.
Child trafficking and forced labor generate $39 billion dollars in revenue annually. Shift the demand from cheap products to ethically sourced products by buying fair trade. Learn more.
4. Support survivors.
Survivors of child trafficking—especially women and girls—are often stigmatized, which perpetuates their susceptibility to trafficking. It starts with the way we talk about this issue – for example, a “prostitute” is often a victim of sexual exploitation and a “pimp” is not a cool guy, but rather someone who abuses and exploits people. Find out more at www.againstourwill.org/how-to-talk-about-it.
5. Be a socially-aware tourist.
There is an incredible amount of child trafficking—both sex and labor—in the tourist industry. Learn how to take simple actions to minimize harm to children at www.childsafetourism.org.
6. Make systemic changes on your campus or in your community.
Lead a Fair Trade Campaign on your campus or in your hometown by petitioning your local government. Your voice is powerful—use it to make a difference!
7. Engage men on this issue.
Human trafficking is a gendered issue—approximately 70% of those subjected to modern slavery around the world are women and girls. If we are going to win the battle against child trafficking, we need men to change harmful social norms and engage in conversations about the commodification of women in their social circles. Find out more at www.acalltomen.org.
8. Post the National Human Trafficking Hotline in public spaces.
The hotline handles calls from anyone, including witnesses, potential victims, service providers, community members, and anyone hoping to learn more about this issue. You can find postcards to print here.
Trafficking is both complicated and widespread, but there are things we can do to bring these injustices to an end. UNICEF USA’s End Trafficking Project works to educate Americans about what child trafficking is so that we can all take steps to stop the cycle of exploitation. Learn more about my team’s work to end trafficking work right here at GlobalGiving. Together, an exploitation-free future is possible.
Featured Photo: Stop Child Trafficking in the USA by UNICEF USA