The impact of human trafficking is enormous. More than 20 million people are affected by human trafficking each year. It is estimated that 3 people out of every 1,000 on our planet today are trapped in a job where they were either coerced or deceived into working. Developed countries are just as affected by this problem as the rest of the world. In the US, there is an estimated 17,500 people who are trafficked into the country each year.
And this reflects only a small percentage of what the actual human trafficking market actually entails. Incidents are under-reported, difficult to identify, and may victims are out in the open in society and ignored because their plight goes unrecognized.
This can change. There are solutions to human trafficking that can be implemented to begin reducing this often complex issue. Here are just a few of the ideas that are worth consideration.
1. Learn the indicators of human trafficking.
There are a number of training resources that are available to the general public that can help you learn to identify the markers of human trafficking. A variety of providers offer individual and professional assistance in this area so that victims can be readily identified and criminals taken off the streets.
The US Department of Homeland Security has put together a list of possible indicators that could indicate human trafficking is taking place in your community.
2. Contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
Even if you just suspect that human trafficking is occurring in your community, it is better to be safe than sorry. If you see any suspicious activities, report it immediately to the NHTRC. Their toll-free number is 1 (888) 373-7888.
You can also SMS text the NHTRC at 233733 by texting “Help” or “Info.” They are available 24/7 and offer assistance in English, Spanish, and 200+ additional languages.
3. Stop buying products that are created by human trafficking activities.
It is very important to know how the goods and services you consume on a regular basis are created. Some products, even those that are created domestically, could be produced through the efforts of human trafficking. If you’re unsure about how some of the items you are using are made, you can ask for a list of goods that have been produced by either forced labor or child labor.
In the United States, there is a full list of goods that are produced by forced and child labor that is maintained by the US Department of Labor.
Once these products have been identified, you can then encourage local businesses to remove those products. When human trafficking is no longer profitable within a supply chain, it will naturally begin to reduce in size and scale.
There are a number of community organizations at the local and regional levels that are actively engaged against the practice of human trafficking. By joining these anti-trafficking efforts, you can make a real difference in the lives of your neighbors.
Each country has their own list of organizations that are working to stop this issue. If you live in the US, you can find an organization near you that may be looking for volunteers right now thanks to End Slavery Now.
If you are unable to get involved because of time restraints, you can still support anti-trafficking efforts by donating to these organizations or organizing fundraisers to support them. Whatever investment you are able to make will have a positive impact in our world and for the people who are affected by trafficking.
5. Help give victims the chance to have a normal life.
Unfortunately, there is a stigma that the victims of human trafficking are forced to deal with on a daily basis. They may not be offered a job, given skills training that they need, or be offered other life improvement opportunities simply because they were in a job through deceit and manipulation. This needs to change.
One of the best solutions to stop human trafficking is to give people the chances they need to get back on their feet. Work with anti-trafficking organizations to provide jobs to victims. Commit to skills training opportunities. By offering a helping hand, you are giving victims the chance to have a better life.
We can be the generation that stops human trafficking. By learning the indicators and being actively involved in our communities, it is possible to make a positive difference every single day.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.