11 Things You Can Do To Combat Human Trafficking
1. Create something
Are you a musician? A movie-goer? An artist? Music tracks such as Tim Be Told’s Just Another Man lyrically depicts the pangs of human trafficking, and The Jubilee Project recently released a short film highlighting the issue too. Channel your bewilderment and aching into an artistic release that may also move others.
2. Learn the signs
There are several warning signs that can clue an observer into seeing how someone may be victim of human trafficking. Knowing that it can happen across our streets such as battered individuals admitted into a hospital’s E.R. or the bus boy in a nearby restaurant gives responsibility to everyone in the community to stop this rampant crime. Visit The Polaris Project to read some of the red flags.
3. Post a status/link
One of the keen ways that has revolutionized human trafficking is simply greater public awareness. More and more people learned about it, demanded change, and talked about it. With social media like facebook or twitter, you can share or retweet with all your friends and followers online by a single click of a button.
4. Visit a nearby fair trade coffee shop
Fair trade goods were amongst the first tangible introduction to consumer power. Yelp or Google coffeehouses in your area and arrange a one-on-one with a friend. It may cost an extra dollar for your beverage, but at least you’ll have a safe conscience, not to mention maybe you’ll be able to educate your friend as well!
5. Host a movie night
Who doesn’t love a reason to hang out? Food, friends, and fun – we all love a good excuse to gather together, whether it’s a birthday, the Superbowl, annual holidays, etc. Why not consider planning for a different sort of cause? Host a get-together with a film like Amazing Grace or Slavery’s Last Stronghold.
6. Go secondhand shopping/thrifting
You’ve heard the sweatshops and the terrible labor conditions surrounding the clothing industry. Maybe you’ve looked into fair trade clothing but your eyes bulged when you looked at the prices. Thrifting is a cheaper, but an effective alternative in that rather than having the profits go back to the corporate, you instead are supporting the local business. No more guilty conscience in purchasing that cute top!
Sometimes the issues and problems of the world seem too vast for goodness to triumph. But in prayer, it allows your mind to form thoughts and ideas, the beginnings before tangible steps can be enacted. You begin to feel the weight, and internally sympathize with the cries of the world.
8. Sign a petition
Did you know that over 20 states in the U.S. signed anti-trafficking laws in the last year? A large component to such progress came from the hands of ordinary citizens, who sent letters and phone calls to state congressmen demanding for harsher policies that prosecute traffickers. IJM recently released a campaign letter for major supermarket chains in joining the Fair Food Program. Simply fill in the blanks and send it out.
9. Fund organizations like Save the Women through this website
Most organizations depend on consumers and philanthropists in order to continue their work. Find out if your favorite NGOs are being responsible and accountable; if they are, help financially support them!
10. Buy products that support the fight
CAUSEGEAR is a good example of a product that helps the poorest of the poor and those especially vulnerable to trafficking. Too many trafficking victims also get lured back into slavery again because they don’t get the much-needed skills training, support, and sustainable jobs. The Nomi Network also has products with a tagline: “buy her bag, not her body.”
11. Join a campaign
Quite possibly the largest single campaign for human trafficking, Light the Dark Campaign is scheduled to launch in 2013. You can also join IJM’s Recipe for Change to request slave-free tomatoes in supermarket chains (as discussed above). Or bring the Half the Sky Movement to your campus!
If you donate to ElesPorElas, all the proceeds go towards raising public awareness and combating human trafficking abroad.