How Can You Stop Human Trafficking?
How to Help Reduce Sex Trafficking in Your Town
Millions of young girls are lured into the lucrative business of sex trafficking. These women are cultivated by older adults and forced into prostitution. It happens in every country and almost every city. The average age at which girls are brought into the sex trafficking industry in the U.S. is between 12 and 14.These women are then forced into prostitution or face physical abuse and sometimes torture. Internationally, sex trafficking produces a reported profit of as much as billion a year, nearly half of that money being made in industrialized countries such as the U.S.Every day, young girls are forced into this industry, many runaways who were sexually abused as children. There are numerous ways you can not only reduce the amount of sex trafficking in your town, but impede the ability of predators to recruit and make money off of others. While the focus often is on young women, men are equally susceptible to becoming victims of sex trafficking.
Taking Action Online
Learn to distinguish sex trafficking from other commercial sex operations.Unlike other commercial sex, which may or may not be legal depending on where you live, sex trafficking induces or recruits young women into commercial sex using force or fraud.
- Minors under the age of 18 who work in commercial sex are considered to be victims of sex trafficking without regard to whether they entered the industry due to force, fraud, or coercion.
- Websites such as the Trafficking Resource Center include links to federal and other laws that deal with sex trafficking in the U.S. You can use this and other similar websites to research the issue and learn how to identify possible sex trafficking operations.
Review posts on personals sites.Sex traffickers often use sites such as Backpage and Craigslist that offer free or anonymous personal ads.
- These ads may be used to find clients or to recruit new girls. In addition to looking at personals or ads for escorts or companions, also look at employment ads targeted towards young women.
- Take notes of patterns you see, including photos of younger-looking girls in front of similar backdrops, or similar descriptions accompanying different images.
- If you see posts that you suspect were created by sex traffickers, or that include pictures of unwilling participants, flag the posts so the website will remove them.
- This activity doesn't necessarily stop sex trafficking, but it does make it more difficult for the sex traffickers to use these free online services to find clients or recruit new girls.
- Don't confuse your activism with policing. You should never attempt to contact the girls, as you could make their lives more dangerous. Don't attempt to contact the adults, or to bait or trap them – leave that up to law enforcement officials.
Track profiles on social media.Some sex traffickers have profiles of their own on social media sites such as Facebook, or create pages for their girls to attract clients or other girls.
- Take screenshots of the pages if you find them, and report inappropriate content to the website or to other authorities.
- If you find an account you believe is related to sex trafficking, don't try to engage the people running the account or the girls advertised. Simply observe and take screenshots to give to authorities.
- Within the U.S., you can call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-73-7888 to report information on potential sex trafficking activity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Create your own blog or website.In addition to tracking down the online advertisements of sex traffickers, you may consider creating your own website to discuss incidents of sex trafficking in your area.
- Be careful about naming names, as you could subject the girls you're trying to help to greater danger, and anyone you name could potentially sue you.
- Use your blog or website to write articles explaining sex trafficking facts and statistics in the U.S. and around the world. Include links to government agencies and non-profits that get girls out of sex trafficking.
- If you create crafts or works of art, use your creative endeavors to bring attention to sex trafficking in your town by donating a percentage of your sales to a local or national organization that works to reduce and prevent sex trafficking.
Start or participate in an online awareness campaign.Use a particular hashtag to start a challenge or game that raises awareness for sex trafficking in the U.S. and around the world.
- If organizations have already begun hashtag campaigns, participate in those activities and encourage all your friends and followers on social media to participate as well.
- You also can use social media to amplify your message and educate more people about the problem of sex trafficking in your town.
Raising Public and Governmental Awareness
Draft or sign a petition.Search for a petition asking state or local government officials to pass a law that more closely regulates sex trafficking, or provides greater punishments for sex trafficking convictions.
- Check local or national rules to determine what guidelines you must follow to make sure your petition is legitimate. For example, if you want a government body to take action on a particular piece of pending legislation, you probably must make sure that all signatures are made by adults who are residents of the area.
Hold a public demonstration.A protest can be a powerful means of raising public awareness about sex trafficking in your own community, particularly if you place demonstrators in the location where victims of sex trafficking often are found.
- For example, if there is a hotel where sex traffickers have been observed operating, you might consider having demonstrators encircle the hotel to draw attention to the activities and make it difficult for sex traffickers to operate without being seen by the demonstrators.
- Check with your local government and find out what permits you need to secure before you schedule the demonstration, as well as any legal restrictions you must follow while conducting the demonstration.
- Restrictions typically revolve around ensuring you don't block the flow of traffic or unduly disturb people in the area.For example, if you wanted to hold a demonstration in a residential area, you probably would be restricted from blasting loud music or using bullhorns in the evening when people were at home or sleeping.
Call your congressman or local representative.Speaking to your representative directly can increase government activity to reduce sex trafficking as well as signal to your representative that sex trafficking is an issue of concern among his constituents.
- Consider sending a written letter or email if you want to make sure you communicate all the points you need the government official to know. The other benefit of a letter is that once you've written a good letter you can send it to multiple officials, so you don't have to recreate your statement from scratch each time you talk to someone.
- You may find elected representatives more receptive to your calls if they are up for re-election, as they will be more interested in addressing issues of concern to local constituents during that time.
Speak at a town hall meeting.If your local area holds regular town hall meetings, prepare a statement to make at that meeting along with educational materials.
- You also can request a specific meeting or public hearing be held to discuss the issue of sex trafficking in your town. If you know when the hearing will be held, you can plan speeches and organize material to educate the public and communicate the problem, as well as galvanizing community support for victims of sex trafficking in your area.
- Check with the city government ahead of time and see if you need to get on the agenda before the meeting is held, or if there is a period of time in which the floor is open for general comments from residents.
Work with schools and youth programs.Educational programs at schools and in other youth programs can empower young women and keep girls from falling victim to sex traffickers out of fear or desperation.
- If the local schools don't yet have any programs that address the dangers of sex trafficking, encourage teachers and school administrators to include the issue in their curriculum, and provide educational materials to assist them.
Write a letter to the editor.If you can get a letter published in your local paper, you can raise awareness of the issue of sex trafficking in your town.
- In your letter, include tips on what people can do to help reduce sex trafficking, and provide phone numbers or websites that provide additional resources.
- Make it a point to stress that sex trafficking is not just a faraway problem happening on the other side of the world, but is something that happens every day all over the U.S. and may be happening in your town as well.
- Keep your letter concise, but write with passion and grab the reader's attention. Use your letter to educate the public about sex trafficking in your area as well as providing information on actions people can take to reduce sex trafficking.
Working with Local Non-Profits
Volunteer to work at a women's shelter.Your local women's shelter often supports women escaping sex trafficking or who are victims of abuse or sexual assault.
- In addition to volunteering your time, consider donating goods or services to assist victims of sex trafficking. For example, if you have clothes that you intend to donate, you might donate them specifically to sex trafficking victims who are trying to re-integrate into society, rather than to a general donation service.
- If you have skills or education that enable you to provide services sex trafficking victims may need, such as legal or medical services, consider donating time in which you provide your skills free of charge to victims in need.
Attend or help organize a benefit program or concert.If an organization already involved in combatting sex trafficking in your area stages a concert or other program to raise money and awareness for the cause, attend or volunteer to help work the event.
Donate money to a local organization.Even the smallest amount of money can make a huge difference in what a non-profit organization is able to do to help young women escape sex traffickers and get back on their feet.
- If you can buy a t-shirt or bumper sticker that includes a hotline or website address, you can raise awareness of the dangers of sex trafficking every time you wear the shirt or drive your car.
Organize a fundraiser.If you have a lot of connections, you might consider holding your own event to help raise money for a non-profit in your area.
Start your own local group.If there isn't a significant non-profit presence in your area, you could work with a national non-profit organization to start a small branch operation in your town.
Video: Human Trafficking Prevention Education in Schools & Communities
Pork with Stewed Tomatoes and Couscous
The 10 best business class airlines in the world according to Skytrax
Sweet Pea and Mint Stuffed Shells
60 Ewok Tattoos For Men – Star Wars Ink Ideas
21 Stunning Fall Makeup Looks
Patrons Can Now Use This Solid 18K Gold Toilet In The Name Of Art
10. Microsoft Corporation works with more than 200,000 nonprofits
How to Carry Cargo on a Bike
Cara Delevingne Opens Up About Her Struggle With Depression
Top 10 Back to School Jeans Trends for Kids and Teens