The month of January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, declared so by President Barack Obama in 2016. In addition to this, January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. It is extremely important that attention be drawn to this terrible injustice. In order to “take down” this billion-dollar industry, we all must become educated to the ways in which human beings, in every corner of the world, are being exploited.
The broad term “human trafficking” is used to include forced labor, domestic servitude, organ harvesting, child soldiers, forced marriage, and sexual exploitation. Many times, the victims are “hidden in plain sight” and it takes another person who knows the signs of trafficking to report it.
Where can you start to make a difference?
- Educate yourself by visiting websites of organizations fighting this crime and pass that knowledge along to others! You can start at our Office of Migration and Modern Slavery website.
- Add the confidential, toll free human trafficking hotline number (1-888-373-7888) to your phone in the event that you suspect someone is being trafficked.
- Make your voice heard! Contact your government representatives. There are laws in place to protect victims, but we need stronger laws that are continually enforced. We need more programs to help those who have been victimized as healing from the trauma they have experienced takes years.