Human trafficking is the fastest growing and second largest criminal industry in the world, and it’s probably happening in your local communities and neighborhoods . “An estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery” (International Labor Organization, 2018), which is also known as human trafficking. Not only is this a huge national issue but a human rights issue as well. Human trafficking comes in many different forms, such as: compelled labor, involuntary servitude, debt bondage, commercial sex, and in today’s world, traffickers are constantly keeping up with technology and social media as recruiting methods, in ways that some of us wouldn’t even think twice about. So, it is not only important that we educate ourselves on this topic but it is also essential that we spread awareness and advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves.
Education and knowledge can be the most powerful tool when it comes to driving and creating change. Victims of human trafficking can often be society's most marginalized members and it's up to neighbors and friends to look out for one another. We can create a nationwide network of watchful eyes that can help identify victims by educating and empowering everyday citizens, to recognize the signs of human trafficking and alert the proper authorities when necessary. A huge part in education and knowledge is advocacy, which is defined as “any action that speaks in favor of, recommends, argues for a cause, supports or defends, or pleads on behalf of others'' (University of Central Florida, 2021). When we take the time to educate ourselves on human trafficking, we are taking action by spreading awareness to our communities, schools, neighborhoods, and advocating on the behalf of those who cannot. Now the question is…How can YOU spread awareness and advocate for human trafficking victims?
There are many forms of advocacy you can partake in to show your support. Just to name a few: volunteering, educating yourself, mentoring, writing letters to government officials, supporting organizations that fight against human trafficking, or even something as simple as sharing a post on social media. These are just some ways to advocate for victims of human trafficking. So, we encourage you to use all of the means at your disposal, to raise awareness about the crime, its nature, causes and damage to victims – Governments, schools, elected officials, nonprofits: each and every entity must work toward promoting knowledge on the issue of human trafficking.
Advocate. (2021). University of Central Florida. https://sja.sdes.ucf.edu/advocate/#:~:text=Advocacy%20is%20defined%20as%20any,pleads%20on%20behalf%20of%20others
International Labour Organization. (2017). Global estimates of modern slavery: Forced labour and forced marriage. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_575479.pdf