A Practical Way to Combat Human Trafficking in Your Community

Heard about human trafficking from recent awareness campaigns? Want to do something about it, but don’t know where to start?

Here’s an idea for churches, youth groups, civic organizations, and school clubs: create a training seminar.

Due to recent outcries over domestic human trafficking, some companies and local governments now require employee classes on recognizing the signs of human trafficking and responding effectively. Hilton, American Airlines, TGI Friday’s and other corporations have taken great strides toward workforce awareness.

Sadly, in your community the large-scale seminars won’t reach teachers, pastors or business owners who sometimes serve as the first defense against traffickers. But you can, either as an individual working on your own or as a group hoping to reach out.

  1. Determine your audience. Will your presentation be faith-based, business-oriented or focused on a certain occupation, like elementary education?
  2. Do your research. Groups like Polaris Project offer resources galore for anyone wanting to raise awareness or learn more. They can also connect you with other organizations who have done similar work.
  3. Prepare a course. Clarify for your audience the problem and what they can do about it using their unique position.
  4. Schedule a presentation and space. Aim for free and conveniently located, like a community center, school or place of worship.
  5. Make sure your audience shows up. Invite, network, offer free food, whatever.
  6. Get feedback. Particularly if you’re hoping to start something streamlined, it helps to know what worked and didn’t work that first time around.
  7. Have fun. Human trafficking is sad. Talking about solutions shouldn’t be.

If you put something like this together, let Polaris Project and other activist groups know (and me, too!), because it’s always helpful to share what works in individual communities.

(Photo by JayLopez)

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