Putting an end to human trafficking starts with acknowledging its existence in our communities. During the month of January, advocates, organizations, and individuals unite to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking.
You can join the movement to put an end to this exploitation. Get the facts about human trafficking, then help shed light on the issue by sharing what you learn and speaking up!
What is human trafficking?
According to the Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking is “modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.”
Victims of human trafficking are of all genders, ages, races, countries and socioeconomic statuses. While human trafficking can happen to anyone, people who are already in vulnerable situations may be more likely to be targeted, such as young people experiencing homelessness.
After interviewing 911 homeless young people across 13 cities in the United States and Canada, researchers concluded that 56% of homeless transgender youth had been involved in the sex trade in some way, while 40% of homeless young women and 25% of young men were. About 27% of L.G.B.T youth reported experiences consistent with the U.S. federal definition of sex trafficking.
The different kinds of human trafficking include sex trafficking, forced labor, and domestic servitude. Sex trafficking victims may be forced, threatened, or manipulated by promises of love or affection to engage in sex acts for money. Any person under the age of 18 involved in a commercial sex act is considered a victim of human trafficking.
What can you do to get involved?
Human trafficking is an issue that touches every community, including cities, suburbs, and rural towns, but there is something each of us can do to help prevent it.
Do your part this January by hanging up a poster, sharing a video, or snapping a picture and help bring human trafficking out of the shadows.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign provides plenty of opportunities for individuals or organizations to raise awareness about human trafficking. Their Tools That Teach are highly visual, easy-to-comprehend resources explaining what human trafficking is and what you can do to stop it. You can download and share posters, videos, and infographics for free.
By helping others identify victims and sharing reporting tips, you are doing your part to help law enforcement rescue victims, and you might save a life. Resources for victims can be found here. Also find awareness and training materials to help increase awareness and educate on the indicators of human trafficking for First Responders, Law Enforcement and Federal Employees.
Thursday, January 11 is #WearBlueDay. Post a pic of yourself, your friends, your colleagues, or your family wearing blue online using the hashtags #WearBlueDay and #WeWearBlueBecause with a statement about why you are participating.
It may be hard to accept that this crime exists in our communities, but we have to share the knowledge that this is a reality for far too many victims.