Human Trafficking: How You Can Help
Christina Dojan and Jenny Schindler
April 27, 2012
Filed under News
Human trafficking is a crime against humanity, often referred to as modern day slavery. The official definition of human trafficking as defined by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is, “The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.” Reasons for trafficking include sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, or the removal of organs. The United Nations estimates that 700,000 to 4 million women and children (both girls and boys) are trafficked around the world, although, we have no way of knowing exact numbers.
Only one in one hundred victims of human trafficking will ever be rescued.
But there is hope. We as individuals can help put a stop to human trafficking. Here are a few simple ideas to help:
- Educate yourself. Just by reading this article you’ve already informed yourself about human trafficking. Knowledge is power. You cannot help anyone while you remain unaware.
- Inform others. Use your newfound knowledge to educate others that might not know. This can be done in a variety of ways including talking, doing a presentation, wearing high heels all day at school or wear no shoes (walk a mile in their shoes), wear clothes that have a message against trafficking on them, create a club…anything that gets the message out.
- Lower the demand. People who are trafficked can be forced into sweat shops for large corporations and companies. Find out which brands you buy get their products from sweat shops. Then stop buying that brand! Hold companies accountable for using trafficked humans as laborers; the government does.
- Support the victims. Even after rescue, victims of human trafficking still suffer. Help support the victims of human trafficking by buying microloans or buying products made from formerly trafficked peoples. This will help them create a new life for themselves.
- Advocate for change. Call or write your elected officials. Tell them that you care about the issue of human trafficking and want stronger laws to protect victims. Tell your friends to do the same.
Sources: www.unodc.org , www.teamwmi.org , www.catholic.org