Human Traffic Watch

Posts Tagged ‘10 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking’

10 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking: Day 10: Buy Fair Trade//Slave-Free

In Awareness, Human Trafficking, Social Justice on January 28, 2012 at 12:46 pm

10. BUY FAIR TRADE PRODUCTS

Find out how you or your company can support fair trade and help reduce the demand for products made by slaves. Visit www.fairtrade.org.uk for more details.

Buying Fair Trade is one big way to reduce the demand of slave labor.  However, after extensive research on some of my favorite brand names, I’ve come to realize that the things I want and the places I shop at should all be under scrutiny.

Websites and organizations like Slavery Footprint and Free2Work are just two places to start searching for information on what you purchase that uses the work of slave laborers.  However, ultimately it’s your responsibility to find out if your favorite store is doing its part to keep its work slave free.  Look for a “Code of Conduct” listed on their website.  I was surprised to find out that Forever 21 is a frequent abuser of sweatshops worldwide and even within the U.S.  On the other hand, American Eagle has taken great strides to create a comprehensive code of conduct to keep all those employed directly and indirectly (i.e. factories abroad) safe, happy, healthy, and fairly compensated.  They even document where and when factories have been found to abuse their workers and what they’ve done over time to curb unethical practices in their supply chain.

Buying Fair Trade is one way to make sure you don’t have to worry about the research, though.

[based on The A21 Campaign’s “21 Ways to Help” List]

10 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking: Day 9: Start an Awareness Group

In Awareness, Human Trafficking, Social Justice on January 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm

9. START AN AWARENESS GROUP

Start an awareness group at your local high school, university, or workplace. Get your friends involved in spreading the truth about human trafficking to your community. For more information on A21 abolition groups, or to download abolition resources, click here.

Sometimes it feels like you’re all alone in your fight toward abolition.  I know I’ve felt that way.  However, one way to get people to join you is to take the time to make them aware of the issue.  No matter how much you know about the issue, taking the time to form, organize, and continue an awareness group will help you learn even more about the issue, what’s happening on a daily basis, get more people involved, and hone your interest into an expertise.

After living abroad for over a year, I felt all alone in this endeavor, too.  However, after placing an invitation to an awareness group on a local website for foreigners and sharing my interest in this subject on Facebook, I’m now part of a large community of like-minded peers who meet a few times each month to share our knowledge on various aspects of human trafficking.  It’s definitely been a highlight of each week to meet with these people – some who came to the table with a lot of information, and others who have been waiting for someone to come along and teach them more.

Don’t forget that lots of organizations have information and screening guides, of which I’ve posted about in previous “10 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking” posts.

[based on The A21 Campaign’s “21 Ways to Help” List]

10 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking: Day 7: Fast for Freedom

In Awareness, Human Trafficking, Social Justice on January 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm

7. FAST ON THE 21ST

On the 21st day of every month, fast for the work that The A21 Campaign is doing in Greece, the Ukraine and around the world. Fasting is a personal reminder throughout the day of your commitment to see breakthrough in injustice. Together, on the 21st of each month, we can stand in agreement to see the injustice of human trafficking abolished and set aside this day to focus on making a difference.

Have you ever fasted?  If you’re part of any of the “major” religions, you probably have.  Although most Christians and Catholics may only fast from meat, I’ve experienced (shortened versions of) Ramadan with my Muslim friends and the Nineteen Day Fast with Baha’is.  You know what – they don’t eat ANYTHING from sun up to sun down for weeks in a row.

One thing I’ve noticed – no matter what faith you are, there are always some who are only fasting because they feel obligated or out of tradition.  If you are spiritual and believe in the power of fasting, or you are not religious and you believe in the power of meditation and focusing your mind, you can consider fasting for a cause.  Fast for freedom.  Focus your hunger for food into a hunger for total abolition.

[based on The A21 Campaign’s “21 Ways to Help” List]

10 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking: Day 8: Volunteer

In Awareness, Human Trafficking, Social Justice on January 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

8. VOLUNTEER

You can also join The A21 Campaign by becoming a volunteer. Some of the areas that you can get involved are: research, web design, photography or graphic arts. If you would like to volunteer with The A21 Campaign at some capacity, please contact us.

You can volunteer or work for any of the number of nation-wide or world-wide organizations fighting against human trafficking.  However, if you want to work with other people and make a difference in your community, town, state, region, consider finding organizations close to you that are working toward abolition.

Polaris Project’s Slavery Map is such an amazing tool, and my favorite part about it is that you can click on your state and find out about the organizations in your area who are already working to end human trafficking.  Local organizations often have limited resources and limited exposure – volunteer your time so that their work can be stretched farther.  There’s an international map, too, for non Americans.

[based on The A21 Campaign’s “21 Ways to Help” List]

10 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking: Day 6: Sponsor a Survivor

In Awareness, Human Trafficking, Social Justice on January 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm

6. SUPPORT SURVIVORS

You can support survivors by donating items for newly rescued victims at our shelter in Greece. One suggestion is new clothes such as pajamas, socks and other essentials as survivors often come to us with only the clothes on their back. If you would like to make a donation directly to the survivors in Greece, please contact us. Another way to support survivors is to buy products made by survivors of human trafficking. Here is one place you can find jewelry that is hand-made by survivors:http://www.nightlightinternational.com.

I posted about this already, but many organizations work with survivors of trafficking to create handmade goods.  These goods not only help survivors learn skills to support themselves, but you can use their pieces as a way to talk to your friends and family about trafficking.  They also make the BEST gifts.

Stores // Sponsorship Programs for Survivors 

[based on The A21 Campaign’s “21 Ways to Help” List]

10 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking: Day 5: Organize a Fundraiser

In Awareness, Human Trafficking, Social Justice on January 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm

5. ORGANIZE A FUNDRAISER

Join the A21 Abolition Program and be equipped with the information and resources to organize your own fundraisers. Also, for ideas and inspiration, check out the A21 Heroes.

Can I just say something?  I think fundraiser are great – as long as they don’t send those who participate away with a sense of achievement.  While fundraisers should raise funds, the more important aspect of fundraisers should be to raise awareness and to motivate everyone involved to continue working toward abolition, even after the fundraiser is over.

  • Call + Response: DVD Screening Kits – kits for screenings at home, school, faith, and community events
  • Love146: Host an Event // Book a Speaker – includes helpful resources for planning and organizing an event
  • Not for Sale: Chocolate Campaign Event – if everyone stopped buying chocolate from non-fair trade cocoa producers, the child slavery within the cocoa industry would disappear.  Problem: most people don’t even know that their Hershey’s bar is paying cocoa farms to continue using child labor.  Host an screening of “The Dark Side of Chocolate.”

[based on The A21 Campaign’s “21 Ways to Help” List]

10 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking: Day 4: Lobby Politicians

In Awareness, Human Trafficking, Social Justice on January 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm

4. LOBBY POLITICIANS

Often times adjusting laws and policies surrounding the issue of human trafficking can help make it easier to identify and convict traffickers in a court of law. For more information on how to inform your elected officials, check out www.polarisproject.org.

What can I say?  The Polaris Project is in Washington, D.C., and they know the system.  Check up with them on what they may need help with.  Calling your congressperson does make a difference.  On top of that, many politicians have recently taken up their cross on this issue – show them you support their work, or tell your representative that they should join forces with those already doing so.

[based on The A21 Campaign’s “21 Ways to Help” List]

10 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking: Day 3: Invest in Freedom

In Awareness, Human Trafficking, Social Justice on January 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm

3. INVEST IN FREEDOM

One way you can join The A21 Campaign is through financial support. Your donation will be used to fight human trafficking through legal fees, as well as costs related to healthcare and housing for rescued victims. If you would like to join The A21 Campaign by making a financial contribution or becoming a regular monthly partner, please click here.

There are a ton of amazing organizations out there.  A lot of people tithe each month – consider sending your tithes and offerings to an organization fighting this injustice (if you are concerned about making sure your tithe goes to something religious, a LOT of these organizations were founded by Christians, just do your homework).

Even if you aren’t someone who gives money religiously, put a jar in your car and throw any extra cash or change throughout the next month into it.  At the end of the month, send that money to your favorite organization.

Here are a few of mine:

  • Donate to Not for Sale Campaign (Not for Sale works along with Christians, Muslims, Jews, and basically everyone.)
  • Not for Sale’s 28 to Emancipate Campaign (committing to donate $28 each month to emancipate slaves around the world.)
  • Partner with Love146 (Focusing your donations towards prevention and/or aftercare of child sex slaves.)
  • Donate toward the Somaly Mam Foundation (and read Somaly Mam’s book and follow her on Twitter to find out about the important and often dangerous work she does to fight sex slavery in Cambodia.)
  • Donate to the International Justice Mission (partner with an organization working all over the world to bring justice to the oppressed.)

And DON’T FORGET – most of these organizations have pretty amazing stores where you can spend money that will benefit the organization, its beneficiaries, and you’ll get something (often handmade) with a story to tell about human trafficking.

[based on The A21 Campaign’s “21 Ways to Help” List]

10 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking: Day 2: Use Your Talent

In Awareness, Human Trafficking, Social Justice on January 28, 2012 at 12:37 pm
2. USE YOUR TALENT

Write a blog about why we should fight human trafficking; paint a picture and display it publicly; use a sports event to raise awareness and funds; write a song or talk about human trafficking at a concert; create a short film and post it on www.youtube.com. Use what you do best to make a difference!

Hey, look at that!  This whole blog is dedicated to human trafficking.  But you don’t have to spend hours blogging about the same subject.  Just take some time each week to share some of the most interesting stories or facts on your Facebook, Twitter, or You Tube accounts.  (Hint: pictures, video, or cool graphics always catch more attention – the higher the resolution, the better.)

If blogging and sharing online isn’t your forte, do what you love.  Write a song.  Lead an information meeting at school, a club, or church event.  Write a letter to your editor.  Design some cool posters and put them up around your town.  Buy the most beautiful accessory from Not for Sale or 31 Bits, and when people ask you about it, tell them about how your purchase helped abolish slavery or empower women (thus preventing them from being exploited).

[based on The A21 Campaign’s “21 Ways to Help” List]

10 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking: Day 1: Spread the Word (Educate Yourself)

In Awareness, Human Trafficking, Social Justice on January 28, 2012 at 12:35 pm
[based on The A21 Campaign’s “21 Ways to Help” List, I wanted to compile more information to help people do something about human trafficking.]

1. SPREAD THE WORD

Memorize some of the statistics about human trafficking and tell your friends. You can also download posters from www.callandresponse.com or ask us for brochures you can pass out to people at your work, school or church.

Understanding what you’re fighting for is the first step to helping other people see the need for change.  You have to have your facts straight, and you have to make articulate arguments; if you don’t, people don’t feel compelled to make necessary changes to their lives.

Below is a list of websites to start you on your journey toward educating yourself about human trafficking.

  1. Love 146: Slavery Notebook – This is one of my favorite educational tools.  The graphics are awesome, and the information will stun you.  You won’t be able to stop turning pages, and you’ll finish with a head full of facts, knowledge, and compassion.
  2. Not for Sale: Slavery & Real Stories – Details various aspects of human trafficking and real stories of trafficking and slavery from around the globe.
  3. International Justice Mission: Resources – Includes printable PDFs of factsheets and casework studies.
  4. Polaris Project: Resources – Multiple documents including statistics, myths and misconceptions, trafficking indicators, etc.

There are a lot of great organizations and tons of ways to educate yourselves, but this is the first step.  Please reblog and add your own favorite resources!

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