There are an estimated 27 million slaves in our world today. I first learned about human trafficking (often called modern slavery) as a twelve year old kid living in Africa. In the years since, I’ve learned that trafficking takes many forms and happens on every continent. I’ve seen it all around the world in the face of child soldiers, forced laborers, and women and children trapped in commercial sexual exploitation. If you know what to look for, chances are you will see it too.
What is slavery?
Signs to Look Out For
This website lists signs you should be aware of that may indicate a person has been or is being trafficked.
How to Report Trafficking
If you suspect a case of human trafficking in the United States, call 1-888-3737-888. The operator will help you understand if you have really seen trafficking and if so, will send your tip to law enforcement. Program this number into your phone. When in doubt, it’s much better to call the hotline rather than do nothing. (Operators speak English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Russian)
If you are anywhere else in the world, consult this list of global trafficking hotlines or contact local police or social service agencies.
The following video gives a more in-depth explanation of what is human trafficking in an easy to understand format. The video is divided into 4 sections, 1. Outlining the problem, 2. The criminal element, 3. Addressing the exploitation, 4.Understanding the post exploitation process. The video explains the process of how and why a person can become a victim of human trafficking.
Organizations to Support and Serve
There are many organizations raising awareness about human trafficking, but which organizations are directly assisting victims? Take a look at a few of my favorites below:
- Girls Education & Mentoring Services
- NightLight International
- Confident Children out of Conflict
- Free the Girls
- Dton Naam
- Rahab Uganda
Be a Conscientious Consumer
It is a terrible reality that slavery is in the supply chain of the products we use daily, from coffee and computers to cell phones, cotton, and even chocolate! Because of the scope of the problem, we and our global markets benefit from people’s enslavement. Before you buy, check on the products and corporations you’re giving your money to. Start by taking this quiz to determine how your current lifestyle benefits from the labor of slaves. Then, start using your voice to call for businesses to stop supporting slavery, and use your wallet to support business producing products free from slave labor.
Shop With Purpose
Buying products from the following merchants will directly support survivors of human trafficking as they journey into healing.