Did you know that January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention month?
I did not, so I’m guessing there is a good chance that you didn’t either, probably because this is a new proclamation.
On December 31, 2012, President Obama declared January as month to bring awareness to human trafficking in hopes that we can all work harder to put an end to these horrific human rights abuses. He calls “upon businesses, organizations, faith-based groups, families, and all Americans to recognize the vital role we can play in ending all forms of slavery and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.”
Ever since my time in Cambodia, human trafficking has been one of the social justice issues I feel most strongly about. According to UN.gift, it’s estimated that over two million people are trafficked each year, and over half of are those are children.
A lot of times we think of trafficking as something that happens mostly abroad, but it’s just a much a problem in the United States as it is in other parts of the world. The injustices that occur daily in our own backyard are horrifying.
So what can we do?
The first step is awareness. Educate yourself on these issues, and then get involved.
The Blue Campaign
The blue campaign works with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security components to combat human trafficking through a variety of efforts, such as enhanced public awareness, training, victim assistance, and law enforcement investigations.
Not For Sale Campaign
The Not For Sale Campaign offers multiple ways to get involved both at the national and local level.
The project to end human trafficking offers educational lectures about human trafficking and works with multiple campaigns towards ending trafficking.
Half the Sky Movement
One of my favorite, Half the Sky offers a plethora of ways to get involved and make a difference. From volunteering to donations to simply spreading the word, everyone can do something. At the bare minimum, go and read the book.
I know there a many more amazing campaigns out there, but these are just a few that I’m aware of.
If you have any others you would like to pass on, I’d love to hear them.
Change can happen, but it’s not going to unless more of us get involved.