Human trafficking is a serious and detrimental crime. Many may think that they are in no way affected by this, however that could not be more wrong. This is a billion dollar industry that unfortunately affects every state and every community. According to the The International Labour Organization, there are a total of 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally.
• 68% of them are trapped in forced labor
• 26% of them are children
• 55% are women and girls
While these statistics may seem staggering, they are all too real for some. So what can you do to help? The first step is to know what organizations you can turn to for the necessary information. The Polaris Project is one organization that is focused on helping the victims of this horrible practice regain their freedom and start their life again. They also tirelessly work to prevent other victims from entering trafficking.
This organization along with many others need donations to continue their work. If you can’t give anything else, considering giving a few dollars. Anything helps, but if you are not in the position to give monetarily consider doing your part to increase public awareness. There are many ways one can do this.
Contacting your local law makers is the most important thing you can do. There are many petitions that you can sign. The first being the petition for the Attorney General to stop traffickers and provide support to victims. Secondly, you contact Congress to pass the Visa Transparency Anti Trafficking Act of 2016 and to pass the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act.
Lastly, if you recognize that someone may be a victim of human trafficking do not stay silent. Call a hotline or your local law enforcement. This is a terrible practice that needs to end. As a country we have come along way and modern slavery has no place in our society. It is time that we do all that we can to help these victims and stop others from becoming future victims. Please consider helping in any way you can.
National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline: 1 (888) 373-7888