How You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking

In honor of #WearBlueDay, which is also known as National Human Trafficking Awareness day, I'd like to share the different ways you can help fight human trafficking. People often believe that the only way you can make a difference in this global fight is if you are a well known actor or actress with a large following. This couldn't be further from the truth. Anyone can make a difference in this fight. How can you help fight human trafficking? Here are three ways:

1) Learn what human trafficking, and what the signs are. Because of the impact Hollywood and mainstream media has, the truth of human trafficking is blurred. Many myths are believed as truth. When people think of human trafficking, they think of a Taken situation, where a stranger kidnaps a woman in a foreign country. Or that human trafficking only occurs at the US/Mexico border. Now, these situations do happen, but for many, they think this is the only form of human trafficking. In actuality, human trafficking happens everywhere, including in your town. Also understanding what the signs of human trafficking are can have significant impact. You can get trained in learning human trafficking on websites like Polaris Project or On Watch. I recently completed my training with On Watch, and I recommend using this program. Very simple and quick to complete. You can work on it at your own pace. I finished majority of the program within an hour. I do think I'll also take Polaris Project's training program.

2) Become a conscious buyer. I've found that this confuses people. When I say "Become a conscious buyer," I mean you understand what you are buying. Many products come from forced labor. You may think that you do not contribute to human trafficking. What are popular products made from victims of forced labor? Mica, an ingredient used in majority of eye shadows, come from child labor or forced labor in India. Other products include coffee, tobacco, bricks, coal, tires, iPhones, clothing, and many more. When you are shopping for food, look for products made from ethical companies. Companies that practice organic or fair trade do not exploit workers. Now, we all have things we need. You need clothes, food, tires for your car, etc. While I recommend understanding wants versus needs, you cannot feel guilt for buying these things. All you can do is pray that the product you are buying doesn't come from forced labor. Switching gears, you can be a conscious buyer against sex trafficking. Refusing to watch pornography, an industry that profits from sex trafficking while simultaneously desensitizing viewers from understanding what is consensual versus nonconsensual, has an enormous impact on sex trafficking. Refusing to participate in watching porn cause sex traffickers to lose business.

3) Volunteer in your community. There are numerous organizations fighting human trafficking. You just have to do a quick Google search. You can also ask around at your school and in your community. Many of these local organizations don't have the resources national or global organizations have. They don't have the ability to find or reach out for volunteers. However, they do need volunteers. I decided to do some research on Google, and that was how I came across Stop The Demand Project. If you can find an anti-trafficking organization to work with, that is amazing. If you find that there isn't an organization in your community, the next best thing would be to create your own! Find some friends and family who share your vision, and invite them to join you.

Fighting to end human trafficking is not something we can solve overnight. To be honest, I don't know that we will ever truly eradicate human trafficking. As long as evil exists, human trafficking will continue to thrive. These three examples I have provided, however, is an excellent way to do your part in fighting this epidemic. Join me in fighting human trafficking.

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